Mallon: Calls for an Immediate Investigation on continuing SIF Scandal
The SDLP Deputy Leader said:
“The DUP and Sinn Fein together heralded the Social Investment Fund as delivering social change and making life better for people living in areas of high poverty and unemployment. Previously we learned that the Fund had over run and was to be allocated an extra £13.1m to cover the black hole in the budget. Now we learn that 7 years after it was announced with great fanfare, only around half the money of the original £80m budget has actually been spent.
“The Social Investment Fund process has been shambolic and shady from the start. The dubiousness of this scheme was confirmed when the now great adversaries the DUP and Sinn Fein, joined forces to block an open and transparent Independent Inquiry into SIF.
“This news sadly doesn’t come as a surprise to those of us who raised concerns and questioned the intention and operation of the Social Investment Fund. It does however raise further questions about the process and management of public money by the previous DUP/Sinn Fein Executive.
“In the absence of a functioning Assembly to scrutinise how this happened, the SDLP has contacted the Northern Ireland Audit Office to ask for an immediate investigation into these latest revelations.
“Be it RHI or SIF, what is clear, is the common theme of incompetence and party self interest in government when it comes to the DUP and Sinn Fein. But this is public money – and the public deserve to know the truth.”