Executive must continue efforts to retain efficiency savings. - Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin DFP Committee Member, Jennifer McCann commenting on today's British Budget said: "As predicted by Sinn Féin the British Chancellor has reneged on previous British Government assurances that the Executive could retain and reinvest efficiency savings in frontline services and infrastructural projects. “What Alastair Darling has announced today runs contrary to earlier commitments by the British Government with respect to efficiency savings in the absence of a Peace Dividend. While some parties seem to believe that the extra money announced in the budget today for the North goes some way to compensating for the additional £123 million extra efficiency savings now being imposed for years 2010/2011 they are overlooking the fact that this is in effect a cut of £123 million in the Block grant that will not be recovered in subsequent years
“In light of this typical slight of hand by the British Treasury today I would appeal to those parties who opposed the Sinn Féin motion for the acquisition of more fiscal powers for the Assembly to rethink their position.
“This Budget and the present economic climate in which we find ourselves only strengthens the argument for greater fiscal control in the hands of locally elected politicians. Politicians who are responsible to the electorate need to take more control of our economic destiny. “Decisions taken by the British Treasury are taken in the interests of the British Government, the British Banking system and economic conditions pertaining principally on the island of Britain. Any beneficial effects that these decisions have on conditions in the North of Ireland are peripheral to the thinking of the British Treasury.
“The Parties must unite in demanding that the British Government delivers on previous commitments with regard to addressing the legacy of underinvestment in the north. ENDS