Northern Ireland Budget Bill - Second Reading (and remaining stages)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:39 am on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Duncan of Springbank Lord Duncan of Springbank Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 11:39 am, 31st October 2019

My Lords, sadly, this Bill is necessary. Although cross-party talks continue, the United Kingdom Government must take forward certain essential legislation to maintain the provision of public services. The legislation before the House today places the budget published in February 2019 on a legal footing and enables the Northern Ireland Civil Service to access the full funding for this financial year. Royal Assent is necessary to avoid the use of emergency powers under Section 59 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

I shall now briefly turn to the Bill’s contents, which largely rehearse what the former Secretary of State set out to the House in a Written Ministerial Statement earlier this year. The Bill authorises Northern Ireland departments and certain other bodies to incur expenditure and use resources for the financial year ending on 31 March 2020.