O'Toole: Executive budget fails to deliver meaningful change

budget matthew o'toole

SDLP Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole MLA has said that the Executive’s budget fails to deliver meaningful change for people in Northern Ireland.

He said it was clear from today’s budget that the Executive has no idea what their priorities are.

South Belfast MLA Mr O’Toole said:

“We have heard plenty of warm and fuzzy motions from the Executive parties since the Stormont institutions returned over two months ago, and while they were all very quick to claim credit for these meaningless proposals and produce glossy videos and graphics, it is clear today that when it comes to actually delivering for people they are found utterly wanting.

“We knew that Northern Ireland is facing a tough budget settlement and the blame for that doesn’t lie solely at the feet of the Executive, but what was produced today shows no clarity around what the Executive’s priorities actually are and it is apparent they have no plan whatsoever for how we will rescue our failing public services.

“Nobody expected a miracle overnight, but people in the North were hopeful that the return of the institutions would mean starting to deal with the issues facing families here. The cost of living, childcare, hospital waiting lists – what’s been put forward today will come nowhere close to dealing with these issues and in many cases we will not even be standing still when it comes to delivering vital public services.

“The North is caught in the middle of an Executive that has no plan and a disintegrating British government that does not care for the problems facing people here. The SDLP Opposition has been clear that we need to re-examine the way the North is funded from Westminster and reach a fairer settlement, but this cannot be a constant excuse for the Executive to hide behind when it comes to making difficult decisions and delivering on the things that matter.”

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