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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that the overall financial package announced by the British Government to fund the commitments made in the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ document is deficient and will create public finance difficulties for the new Stormont administration.

Mr Eastwood said that he welcomed earmarked, ring fenced funding for the expansion of Magee and an addiction centre in the North West which he negotiated with the Secretary of State but the overall package must be improved.

He said:

“The overall financial package announced by the British Government today is totally deficient and will not meet the commitments they have made in the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ document. If the goal of the British Treasury was to unite the new Stormont administration, they’ve succeeded in fostering universal opposition to the scale of this package.

“The gulf between the ambition of the deal and the money on the table is substantial and will cause serious public finance difficulties for the Executive. This is not, and cannot be, the end of the matter.

“I am, however, pleased to see earmarked and ring fenced allocations for the expansion of Magee and a new addiction centre for the North West. These were priorities that I raised with the Secretary of State on behalf of the people of Derry. I intend to see both critical projects delivered for our city.

“I will be raising this matter at Westminster as a matter of urgency.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom