£1bn for NI policing, now just do it
Thursday 22 October 2009
The Stormont parties have been told “now get on with it” after the Government held out a generous £1 billion budget to cover the cost of transferring police and justice powers from Westminster.
Secretary of State Shaun Woodward said he believed the vast majority of people here now wanted to see the final piece of the devolution jigsaw — local control over policing, prisons and the courts put in place.
Gordon Brown’s package, unveiled yesterday, appeared to tick all the boxes in terms of meeting the main financial pressures including around £400m for hearing loss compensation.
The deal also seems to allow PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott sufficient independence to retain the police first reserve if needed for any operational reasons. But the cash will only come if the Stormont parties complete agreement on the switch-over including arrangements on how the new Justice Department will work.
Mr Woodward still refused to give a ‘best guess’ about when the transfer will take place.
“It is a matter for the politicians but I am encouraged by the hard work which I know has gone on,” he said. “I am both an optimist and realist about Northern Ireland and I know both Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson are committed devolutionists and that the time is very, very close for the opportunity to complete devolution.”
As the smaller parties pored over the details of the package for the first time, First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness met Conservative leader David Cameron at Westminster.
Afterwards Mr McGuinness was upbeat and said the commitment by Mr Cameron to honour the deal was a “huge achievement”.
* Source: The Belfast Telegraph
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...