Additional Moneys

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:30 pm on 14 October 2002.

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Photo of Sean Farren Sean Farren Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:30, 14 October 2002

The draft Budget presented to the Assembly on 24 September is predicated on the use of the reinvestment and reform initiative and on the use of public-private partnerships to address infrastructure deficits. Beyond the immediate borrowing facility of £125 million for 2003-04, details of which have already been announced, the extent to which we can borrow is limited by our ability to raise additional revenue to service the debt. Any decisions will be taken with due regard to the recent consultation exercise on the review of rating policy.

As I have previously made clear, there will be no increase in regional rate beyond the pattern of recent years unless and until a fairer system is in place. In the meantime, I have proposed to the Executive a package of allocations from the September monitoring round for 2002-03 amounting to £144 million and, in conjunction with the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister, a further package of £19 million this year and £47 million in 2003-04 from two of the Executive programme funds. As it will not be possible to announce these in the usual way — by a statement to the Assembly after Executive agreement — I have made details of the proposals available to Members through a press release.