‘SDLP will fight for better budget’, insists Bradley
SDLP Finance Spokesperson Dominic Bradley has said that the party will fight for a vastly improved budget that meets the needs of people facing financial difficulty in Northern Ireland.
Bradley was speaking during a debate in the Assembly this week on the Spring Supplementary Estimates.
He told Newry Times, “The Spring Supplementary Estimates are, in effect, a tidying-up of the finances for this current financial year and the Vote on Account is a resolution to supply resources to allow initial spending into the following year of the Executive Budget.
“There are issues which have been caught in the all too familiar political deadlock of the Assembly and which now pose serious threats to our finances and our economy.
“The ongoing failure to bring the ESA bill to the floor of the Assembly has lead to a crisis in the delivery of the £180 million capital programme for schools.
“The ELBs and the sectoral organisations tell us that due to the moratorium on recruitment that they simply do not have the personnel to process the projects when are awaiting funding. This problem has the potential to impact severely on the delivery of the whole programme,” the SDLP MLA insisted.
“There are a number of important programmes locked within OFMDFM – the Maze-Long Kesh Development, the Childcare Strategy, the Poverty and Exclusion Strategy, and the Cohesion, Sharing, and Integration Strategy.
“The monies tied up within these projects are of concern and it is important that the Ministers responsible address them as a matter of urgency. The SDLP has been consistent in challenging the budget in a constructive and meaningful way.
Bradley added, “The SDLP will never give up fighting for the needs of the community of Northern Ireland and to protect their needs at this time requires a vastly improved budget.”
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