British Government must cover full costs of G8 - Flanagan
Sinn Féin Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA Phil Flanagan has stated that the British Government must step forward and provide funding to cover all costs associated with the G8 summit planned for Fermanagh.
Mr Flanagan said:
"British Prime Minister, David Cameron announced in November last year that the G8 summit would take place in Fermanagh this June.
"However, in the time that has passed since the announcement was made, we have yet to hear the British government commit to absorb the full costs of staging this summit, including cost of policing it. Neither the Executive nor Fermanagh District Council can afford having to divert finance from already depleted budgets in order to facilitate this event for a very exclusive group of people
"It would be wholly unacceptable to expect the people of the North and particularly those of Fermanagh already suffering significantly as a result of the austerity measures foisted upon them by the British government to incurr unnecessary expense because of the G8 summit taking place. The full cost of hosting this event must be covered by the British government.
"There will be a considerable increase in the policing budget required, significant funds will required for preparity work as well as for the clean-up in the aftermath.
"But we have yet to hear of any additional funding being provided by the British government to cover this additional expenditure, indeed indications coming from the British Government's Foreign & Commonwealth Office would indicate that additional funding will not be provided.
"I have tabled questions to every relevant Executive department to establish how much they expect to spend in preparation and clean-up for the G8 and what efforts have been made to ensure that the British government covers the full cost.
"The Executive needs to put pressure on the British government to be forthcoming with the funds to cover all of these costs and ensure that local tax and rate payers are not left to pick up the tab for something that was effectively imposed on them."