£50m A5 spend pends legal action

FINANCE Minister Sammy Wilson says he cannot make a decision on whether £50m in deferred borrowing agreed with the UK Treasury will be spent on the A5 road project, until the outcome of a legal challenge to the road is known.

Mr Wilson recently confirmed Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander had agreed that the Executive could borrow up to £50 million less this financial year against an equal increase in borrowing in 2014-15 when funding for the A5 Londonderry to Aughnacloy road is likely to be needed.

Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey asked the Minister whether this “consequential will be used to fund the A5 road.”

Mr Wilson replied: “The deferment of some £50 million Reinvestment and Reform Initiative (RRI) borrowing from 2012-13 to 2014-15 which I had agreed with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and which was announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn statement is to be welcomed.

“As you will be aware the A5 project is currently subject to legal challenge and decisions on profiling of spend cannot be taken by the DRD Minister until the outcome of that legal challenge is known.

“This deferment of RRI borrowing allows the Executive to now accommodate the changing profile of A5 spend.”