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UK government to intervene over Northern Ireland reclassification issue

February 11, 2019 / NATHANIEL BARKER

The UK government will intervene to prevent the debts of Northern Ireland’s housing associations being shifted onto the public balance sheet, Inside Housing can reveal. In a highly unusual move by the UK government, Westminster’s Northern Ireland office has told Inside Housing that it intends to legislate on Northern Ireland’s behalf to prevent housing associations being shifted to the public sector. The threat of reclassification meaning their £1bn of debt would be scored against the region’s budget has hung over associations in Northern Ireland since being announced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2016.