NI Finance Minister's warning over lack of budget

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NI Finance Minister's warning over lack of budget

Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy has issued a fresh warning to the Chancellor about a looming funding crisis if an Executive is not formed to agree a budget.

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In a letter to Nadhim Zahawi, he said "proceeding without a budget is becoming increasingly untenable".

He also warned there was a "real risk" that Stormont departments would significantly overspend this year.

Ministers had agreed to put a draft three-year budget out for consultation.

However, that process was paused when the DUP's first minister, Paul Givan, resigned leaving the Assembly without a fully functioning Executive.

Mr Givan quit in protest at the Northern Ireland protocol and his party has insisted it will only re-nominate to the post of first minister when the party's demands on the protocol are met.

The protocol is part of the 2019 Brexit deal and keeps Northern Ireland in the EU's single market for goods, preventing a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

In Monday's letter to the chancellor, Mr Murphy said the draft budget had no legal standing and an additional £435m could not be spent without Executive approval.