Theresa May’s £1bn deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will mean Northern Ireland receives an extra £1bn over the next two years.
The cash has bought the DUP’s 10 MPs support of May’s minority government in Commons votes.
Timeline for Broadband
- June 26, 2017
The leader of the DUP Arlene Foster — who has been locked in talks with May and senior Tories since the snap general election earlier this month — said the “wide-ranging” pact was “good for Northern Ireland and the UK”.
Here’s where the money will be going
Infrastructure spending — £400m
There’s expected to be £400m of infrastructure spending over two years — a significant sum given that Northern Ireland’s annual infrastructure budget is about £1bn.
The York Street Interchange — where three major roads meet in Belfast — was specifically mentioned in the deal with a project planned to ease congestion and is expected to cost around £150m.
Other infrastructure will likely include a transport hub in the centre of Belfast the completion of the A5 or A6 roads.
Broadband — £150m
The £150m set aside for broadband will see ultra-fast fixed line internet rolled out across Northern Ireland.
The broadband spending will be mainly used to improve the connectivity of rural businesses.
This has been a long running issue in Northern Ireland, already being scoped by the Department of the Economy before the collapse of Stormont earlier in the year, however the upfront cash provided by Westminster will make the scheme far easier to complete.
Health, education, and social care — £450m
There will be £200m spent on health service transformation and £50m towards mental health provision.
A total of £50m is set to be spent on education to “address immediate pressures” — which it is hoped will ease the growing row with head teachers who have said they will not impose any more cuts.
For social care there has been £100m set aside over five years to go towards deprived communities.
There are some areas that have been sent aside for further consideration.
Cuts to VAT and Air Passenger Duty tax will go to further consultation, while a deal will be done to further devolve corporation tax to Stormont.
There is expected to be a “comprehensive and ambitious set” of city deals and “limited number” of Enterprise Zones set up.