Alliance providing sole opposition to Executive Budget

Alliance is the only voice of opposition to a budget that is ‘not sufficiently strategic or sustainable’, Finance Spokesperson Stephen Farry has said, adding he was surprised the UUP and SDLP indicated they are willing to let it proceed.

Outlining his Party’s position during a debate on the Executive’s Supply resolution for the 16/17 budget, Mr Farry said the Alliance was consistent on the issue after the Party opposed the 16/17 budget at the Executive in December and the budget resolution in the Assembly in January 2017.

Stephen Farry MLA said: “Alliance does not believe that the current Executive Budget is either strategic or sustainable.

“The Executive continues to preside over distortions, waste and inefficiencies, with public expenditure ranging from a failure to tackle the costs of a divided society, to take forward meaningful reform in health and education plus other public services, along with ill-conceived programmes and projects such as the Social Investment Fund and the relocation of DARD Headquarters.

“There is uncertainty over whether or not the Executive is committed to a lower rate of Corporation Tax, but it is clearly failing to plan for it through increased investment in skills and infrastructure.

“Alliance is opposing the Supply resolution. We do want to ensure Departments have the funds to resource public services, but there is still time for the Executive to reconsider their final budget position for the 16/17 Financial Year with an effective deadline of the end of July.

“It is strange that in this new start that Alliance is the only party to so far indicate their intention to oppose the Supply Resolution and to invite the Executive to think again and that UUP and SDLP are expressing their concerns but shrugging their shoulders rather than taking a stand.”

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