Additional money welcome but minor housekeeping, says Farry

While the reallocation of money across Executive Departments is welcome, it is “minor housekeeping” at the end of a difficult financial year, Alliance Finance spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said.

Dr Farry was speaking after it was announced the Department of Education and Department for Infrastructure would receive additional funds, as well as the Department for Communities and Executive Office.

However, Dr Farry said the real focus needed to be elsewhere.

“This is minor housekeeping at the end of a very difficult financial year. There is seldom much room for manoeuvre at this stage but the additional allocations are nonetheless welcome.

“However, the real focus has to be on a year of politically-induced financial chaos, with late decisions and stalled reforms, hindering the ability for ever-scarce resources to be spent efficiently and effectively.

“The challenge in the forthcoming financial year is going to be even greater, with increased pressures and less money available. Our public services are underperforming and our economy is stagnating.

“Northern Ireland cannot afford to keep slipping further and further behind. We have deep concerns at the proposed options from the Civil Service and do not see a sufficient strategic approach or commitment to reform that is going to facilitate that step-change in performance and delivery. There must be an even greater urgency to the resolution of the current political deadlock and the establishment of a stable and sustainable Executive.”

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