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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 16:39 GMT
Executive agrees on final budget
Peter Robinson, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness
Peter Robinson, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness with copies of the budget
A final budget and programme for government has been agreed by the Stormont executive.

Ministers met for several hours after parties disagreed over what departments were getting what money. An investment strategy has also been agreed.

The final budget details will be unveiled by Finance Minister Peter Robinson in the assembly on Tuesday.

The programme for government and investment strategy are due to be debated next week.

Mr Robinson has faced opposition to his draft budget, most significantly from Health Minister Michael McGimpsey.

He had argued he had been handed a stand-still budget which would widen the healthcare gap between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

As well as receiving more money, it's understood Mr McGimpsey will also have more flexibilty over his budget spending.

Margaret Ritchie, the SDLP social development minister, had also insisted on more funding for social housing.

However, the ministers seem to have managed to find common ground after two and a half hours of discussion.



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