'Sensitive' talks on NI welfare funding

Saturday 18 May 2013 22.45
Martin McGuinness said the talks on funding provisions for welfare reforms were 'sensitive'
Martin McGuinness said the talks on funding provisions for welfare reforms were 'sensitive'

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said "sensitive discussions" are taking place with the British government on important funding issues.

He said Northern Ireland is different to England, Scotland and Wales and that the British government must recognise this in the funding provisions for welfare reforms.

The funding of Northern Ireland's welfare system comes directly from Westminster.

Some of the controversial changes being introduced have created problems for the administration led by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

Policies such as the "bedroom tax" and changes in disability payments are widely seen as spending cutbacks.

The Stormont administration must now decide on the changes it will introduce.

Elsewhere, unionist and republican leaders are attending talks in Cardiff this weekend to discuss how to improve relations with the PSNI.

Politicians, churchmen and paramilitaries will meet senior officers from the PSNI to hear about preparations for the marching season.