Statement from UUP Leader Steve Aiken on the Finance Minister’s Budget comments

Responding to a statement from the Finance Minister regarding the Budget, Dr Steve Aiken OBE MLA, UUP Finance Spokesperson & Chair of the Finance Committee said:  

“The announcement hours from the end of the current financial year that the 2021/22 Budget is not yet ready shows a shambolic approach to public finances in Northern Ireland.   

“One of the most basic roles of any credible Government is to agree on its spending priorities and set a Budget. Notwithstanding Stormont receiving large sums of additional funding from the Treasury, and despite what is becoming increasingly clear was a tokenistic consultation exercise over January and February, once again our public finances are in a total state of flux.  

“Reading between the lines this appears to be about the internal feuding between Sinn Fein and the DUP.  That the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme will be further delayed, essential funding for Health curtailed, policing numbers not being increased, and support to our economy and infrastructure defrayed, just demonstrates that elements within our Executive are still incapable of making the grown-up decisions that any other democracy would expect.   

“This decision being taken by the Finance Minister today, whilst also trying to set up a fiscal commission to examine tax raising powers, must seriously bring into question whether some of the Parties in the Executive possess even the basic skills to govern and really understand the responsibility needed to manage our finances.”  

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