Executive legislative programme ‘thin’ after big promises: O’Toole

matthew o'toole Executive

The Executive’s legislative programme for 2024 is anti-climactic compared to the promises made by Executive parties, SDLP Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole has said.

O’Toole was speaking as the Assembly debated its legislative programme for this calendar year, much of which includes measures that were already in train while the Assembly was collapsed.

There are several important worthwhile measures planned, including putting the NI Fiscal Council on a statutory footing, sign language legislation and Bills on mother and baby homes public inquiries – which the Opposition strongly supports.

But as well as a light legislative programme, the Executive has still failed to produce a Programme for Government nearly 130 days into a restored Stormont.

Matthew O’Toole MLA said:

“There are several worthwhile measures in the Executive legislative programme which we welcome and look forward to debating in the Assembly. Putting the Fiscal Council on a statutory footing and legislating for a public inquiry into mother and baby homes are particularly welcome.

“But overall this legislative programme falls weakly short of the promises made in umpteen Executive party motions before the Assembly, promising action on everything from Lough Neagh to waiting lists to holiday hunger. Nothing in the legislative programme comes close to offering implementation of the assorted promises that have been made.

“From the First Minister down, the Executive has been long on PR but short on meaningful delivery. Nearly 130 days into the mandate, there is still no Programme for Government and no sign of when we will get one. People in Northern Ireland will soon start to conclude that the Executive is more interested in photo opportunities than delivery.”

Font size