Farry: Budget meeting is critical to the future of the Executive

Alliance Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry has described Wednesday’s special meeting of the Executive to consider the budget as ‘critical to the future of the Executive’, warning that if Ministers fail to tackle the financial crisis they will effectively forfeit the right to manage our own affairs.

Stephen Farry MLA said: “Northern Ireland is in the throes of its biggest financial and political crisis since devolution in 1998. Some issues can wait for the wider process being convened by the Secretary of State, but the finances can’t. If the Executive won’t tackle the financial issues, and tackle them now, we will effectively forfeit the right to manage our own affairs.

“Reflecting the significance of this meeting, and Alliance’s view that this is the absolute priority above everything else, I am interrupting a scheduled investment trip in the US. This has not been an easy decision to take, but the fact is that we need to take decisions now to ensure that we are able to invest in the skills that I am using to sell Northern Ireland as an attractive investment location.

“This meeting offers an opportunity for all of the Executive parties to move beyond declaring their support for the survival of devolution, and to demonstrate that support by taking decisions to move us out of financial crisis. Talk is cheap – a failure to act is costing us millions.”


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