Lagan Valley MLA Mr Lunn said the Budget was a missed opportunity to take strategic decisions and look ahead to help resolve issues around the health service, education reform, costs of a divided society among others.
“This Budget was circulated to Executive Ministers at 9pm on December 16 ahead of the Executive meeting at 11am the following day. That is clearly not enough time to discuss, debate and formulate ideas around what is a vital document regarding the future finances of Northern Ireland.
“One of the main issues is around the decision to set a date and rate of Corporation Tax. That means the requirement to invest in skills takes on an increased urgency, but this Budget actually places further pressure on our skills base, which is already being hollowed out through budget cuts.
“As on previous occasions, the DUP and Sinn Fein have displayed an arrogant disregard for the democratic process over this matter. This document is not in any way strategic – it misses opportunities to invest in the economy and address serious problems at the same time.”