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Northern Ireland Executive Formation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 11:25 am, 16th January 2020

Going back to the financial package, there will be £2 billion up front and then, obviously, the usual Budget arrangements in March. It is not for me to comment on those Budget arrangements—I think I would get into huge trouble with the Treasury if I did —but all of us in this House and across Government realise that, when the Executive come forward with their programme for government and as they work through the coming months, we need to stand ready to assist them.

The Executive need to take a different approach from the one they have historically taken. They need to reform. We are setting up a board, and we are looking at how to encourage greater productivity. I was slightly disappointed to hear this week that water rates have been ruled out. The Executive need to look at their own revenue-raising measures, as well as coming to the UK Exchequer for cash.