O’Toole challenges Executive’s no 'hurry’ attitude to delivery

matthew o'toole Assembly Executive

SDLP Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole MLA has said it’s time for the Executive to start delivering for people across the North.

He was speaking during a debate on the Spring Supplementary Estimates in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Mr O’Toole urged the Executive to outline a Programme for Government and the Finance Minister to bring forward a budget.

On Monday, First Minister Michelle O'Neill told the SDLP Opposition "let's not be in a hurry".

South Belfast MLA Mr O’Toole said:

“Despite the Assembly returning over two months ago, we are none the wiser when it comes to the Executive’s priorities for a Programme for Government or a financial plan to deal with the issues impacting families across the North. The Spring Supplementary Estimates before the Assembly today were a technical exercise around money that we have already committed, but this is the position we are in due to the continued political dysfunction that left us with no institutions for five of the past seven years.

“The financial matters before the Assembly today were one of the few issues we have debated with substantive legal effect. Since restoration we have seen Executive parties line up to introduce motion after motion on everything from childcare to holiday hunger and Lough Neagh, with glossy videos produced implying to the public that some action would be taken on these issues, but still we know nothing of what the Executive plans to do about any of these issues.

“The SDLP Opposition has consistently called for a clear plan via a Programme for Government and a multi-year budget. Not only do we not have one, Ministers are non-committal about when they might actually have a plan to present to the public. Yesterday, First Minister Michelle O'Neill said there should not be a hurry to get a programme agreed. Sinn Féin and other Executive parties have been having meetings on priorities for more than two years. The people of Northern Ireland deserve better.”


Font size