O’Toole expresses disbelief around remaining £400m re-allocated funding

finance matthew o'toole

SDLP Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole MLA has expressed disbelief that the Executive is unable to clarify what impact a remaining £400m in reallocated funding could have on public sector bodies and community organisations.

He was speaking after questioning Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Mr O’Toole said there was widespread concern around where the money was coming from.

South Belfast MLA Mr O’Toole said:

“I find it incredible that no Executive Minister can outline exactly where this remaining £400m in reallocated funding is coming from. We have already seen £150m taken away from integrated education and there will be many public sector bodies and community and voluntary organisations concerned that they could suffer a similar fate when this money is accounted for.

“The Minister told me today that she is still awaiting clarity from the Treasury on what money will be taken away and from whom. The Executive parties all took part in negotiations with the British government to restore the institutions and it beggars belief that none of them thought to ask where this money would be taken from and who would be affected.

“This British Government have proved time and time again that they care little about who will be hurt by their punitive cuts and they care even less for matters impacting people in the North. When it comes to protecting much needed funding for key projects and community groups the Executive has failed at the first hurdle by taking the government on trust when it comes to this money, with the worst outworkings of their decision yet to emerge.”

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