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Hamilton's fiscal powers rationale doesn't make sense - Ó hOisín

24 September, 2013 - by Cathal Ó hOisín

Sinn Féin's East Derry MLA, Cathal Ó hOisín has challenged Finance Minister Simon Hamilton to explain his reluctance to seek additional fiscal powers for the Assembly.

Cathal Ó hOisín said:

"In response to a question that I put to the Finance Minister it was disappointing that Mr Hamiliton failed to show any ambition or self-confidence when he declared that in his opinion it would be 'unwise to seek devolution of any other substantial tax'.

"Commenting on recent research by NIVCA using the Scottish and Welsh approach to identify the potential of enhanced fiscal powers for the North, Mr. Hamilton was dismisive claiming that 'Financial accountability' has been a major focus for Scotland and Wales whilst in contrast we have, 'unapologetically, taken an economic focus thus far'.

"Can the Finance Minister please explain how you can separate 'economic focus' from 'financial accountability'? It appears that DUP Finance Ministers are incapable of showing any imagination or ambition when it comes to plotting our economic future. Only when we take responsibility for as much of our own finances as is possible will we be able to design economic policies fit for the special circumstances pertaining here.

"We cannot continue to administer decisions taken by mandarins in Whitehall who have no understanding of the needs of our economy. It's time that we become what the people elected us to be - governors and legislators and not mere administrators."

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