Alliance MP Naomi Long has challenged the Chancellor of the Exchequer on his comment that the current discussion with the Justice Minister relate to a request for “additional” funding. He made the comment in a reply to Labour MP Stephen Pound (Ealing North) who queried the delay.
Naomi Long MP said, “In his reply to Stephen Pound MP, the Chancellor claimed that the current negotiation is in relation to a request for ‘additional’ funding; however, that is not the case and I challenged him to confirm for the House that what David Ford has asked for as Minister for Justice is not additional funding, but rather that Treasury stand over the financial package negotiated prior to the devolution of policing and justice.
“Whilst he offered assurances that security would be paramount, this falls short of either acknowledging that they are trying to renegotiate the package or that they intend to fulfil the commitments made by the last Government and endorsed by his own colleagues at the time.
“Ensuring that the PSNI and the Department of Justice are properly resourced not only to counter the dissident terrorist threat directly, but also to continue to do the kind of high quality community policing and justice reform which undermines terrorism, is crucial to the safety and security of people right across these islands. Treasury needs to stand by promises made on what is such a sensitive and important issue.”