Stephen Farry MLA said: “It is a complete shambles that the Executive has not been able to produce a June Monitoring statement before the summer recess. The opportunity for proper scrutiny of a matter of public importance has been lost until the autumn.
“Monitoring rounds are the only means that the Executive has to reallocate funds during the course of its budget. At present, the Executive is locked into a three-year budget.
“While the June Monitoring Round is usually routine, it takes on considerable importance this year due to significant Barnett consequentials of around £60m becoming available this year due to the Chancellor’s Budget this April. There are important issues at stake regarding whether our Executive follows the lead of the UK Government and make further investment in the economy or whether it merely seeks to offset the additional money against future demands for efficiency savings.
“Many business leaders and commentators have joined with Alliance in calling for a revised budget to help address the current recession and to position Northern Ireland to seize the opportunities of economic recovery. Despite the limited scope of monitoring rounds, Ministers have insisted that they provide the necessary flexibility over dealing with the public finances. Now it seems that we may not even have this.”