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Robinson to announce NI budget Housing and health cash bonanza
(about 4 hours later)
Finance Minister Peter Robinson is set to announce the executive's final budget to the assembly. More than £200m has been allocated to build more than 5,000 affordable homes in Northern Ireland.
It is understood more than £200m will be allocated to build more than 5,000 affordable homes. The announcement was made by Finance Minister Peter Robinson as he delivered his first budget to the assembly.
The executive parties clashed over the draft budget published last year, but the final document was agreed by all ministers on Monday. Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has been given more flexibility over his budget, including £10m a year for mental health provision.
The Ulster Unionists also say they are happy with their settlement on health, which includes £30m in extra revenue. Some £40m will go to the Department of Employment and Learning, with £50m on innovation across other departments.
An extra £40m in capital is due to be spent on the roads and £14m on the fire service. The final budget came after significant tensions in the executive over funding.
Last year, Mr Robinson clashed with Housing Minister Margaret Ritchie over a variety of issues, whilst Health Minister Michael McGimpsey led the charge against October's draft budget claiming it was selling the health service short. The £200m going to Ms Ritchie's department will meet housing targets over the next three years.
Peter Robinson has unveiled his first budget
This will see 1,500 new units in year one, following by 1,750 in year two and a further 2,000 units in year three.
Mr McGimpsey's budget means he can keep efficiency savings and is guaranteed £20m a year from unspent executive funds, money that becomes available in each spending year.
This would total £60m over three years.
He has also received £30m for mental health, plus money £14m for the fire service.
The cash for the Department of Employment and Learning will partly fund extra PhD students, as well as other research.