A budgetary blunder

The NI Audit Office has questioned the Department of Finance and Personnel’s use of its borrowing power for the Reform and Reinvestment Initiative (Full report here pdf file). So far £411m has been borrowed but the Audit office believes that capital under-spends should have made such borrowings unnecessary or significantly reduced. It highlights that if this free attitude to borrowing continues and the full £2bn is borrowed it will lead to a large bill for NI ratepayers:

Should DFP access the full £2 billion borrowing available, repayments are likely to peak at approximately £137 million a year. Based on a current Northern Ireland population of 1.7 million, this equates to potentially £80 a year per head of population.