Speaking ahead of the Assembly debates, Stephen Farry said: “Collectively, the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly are letting down the people of Northern Ireland. In 1998, 70% of people voted for the new beginning offered by the Good Friday Agreement. Today, it is easy to understand why many people are cynical and frustrated, with their support for devolution sorely tested.
“At present, there is no clear financial framework in place, with massive uncertainty for the future and the prospect of further savage cuts to public spending to build on the existing spending cuts which are already causing some pain.
“This is now the time for all MLAs to show maturity and responsibility, to rise above narrow party politics, and to show a willingness to confront difficult challenges.
“Proceeding with the Supply Resolution and the Budget legislation is the least irresponsible option before us.
“These measures alone will not resolve any of the current financial and political problems. But they will at the very least provide some space and opportunity where agreement can be found on implementing welfare reform, delivering the Stormont House Agreement, and ensuring that there is a fair and balanced budget in place.
“Northern Ireland is clearly in a major hole. This week will determine if MLAs are going to take the first tentative steps to start climbing out, or whether they will dig even deeper.”