TUV tables Budget amendment

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“Next week the Finance Minister will move Estimates and a Budget which she knows is not balanced, even though hitherto she has insisted only a balanced Budget is viable. Instead she will propose a budget on the disingenuous pretence that the Stormont House Agreement has in fact been implemented. In consequence, using her own figure, the budget will include provision for spend of £604m which she knows she doesn’t have.

“In order to bring focus on this fantasy approach I have today tabled an amendment to the 2015/16 Estimates, which reduces the permitted expenditure by the minister’s £604m figure in order to provide a balanced budget – what the minister formerly insisted on.

“I trust the Speaker will select the amendment for debate so that a thorough debate can take place on this important issue.

“My amendment would cause the Resolution to read:-

‘That this Assembly approves that a sum, not exceeding £7,732,067,000, be granted out of the Consolidated Fund, for or towards defraying the charges for Northern Ireland Departments, the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, the Assembly Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints, the Food Standards Agency, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2016 and that resources, not exceeding £8,400,299,000, be authorised for use by Northern Ireland Departments, the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, the Assembly Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints, the Food Standards Agency, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2016 as summarised for each Department or other public body in Columns 3 (b) and 3 (a) of Table 1.3 in the volume of the Northern Ireland Estimates 2015-16 that was laid before the Assembly on 8 June 2015, subject to a proportionate reduction for each Department, with the exception of the Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety, and each other public body referred to in Columns 3(b) and 3(a) of Table 1.3 of the aforesaid Estimates, so as to reflect the £604,000,000 shortfall resulting from the failure to implement the Stormont House Agreement.’

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