Budget chaos threatens core public services: O’Toole

budget finance cost of living

The latest update from Finance Minister Conor Murphy highlights the out of control state of Northern Ireland finances as institutions face further collapse in three weeks.

A written statement from the Finance Minister today indicates that the entire unallocated £300 million in Stormont coffers has been wiped out by a near one billion pound overspend in the financial year so far.

The overspend, in part due to rising costs being faced by departments delivering public services in the midst of rising inflation, will be clawed out of next year’s block grant in the absence of further funding.

Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole MLA said:

“Today’s statement from Conor Murphy illustrates how serious a position Northern Ireland now finds itself in. In less than three weeks, there will not only be legal chaos jeopardising spending on basic services, we will risk breaching the block grant and devastating public services next year as overspends are carried forward.

“While we have questions about the way the Finance Minister has used his caretaker powers, this is fundamentally an indictment of the DUP. Their boycott is not just preventing practical action to help with the cost of living, it is posing a real threat to the continuation of core public services. It is unconscionable, indefensible and must end now.”

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