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Foster scaremongering over budget claims - McKay

22 May, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said finance minister Arlene Foster is scaremongering over claims that Assembly departments would not be able to spend money if a budget is not agreed. 

The Sinn Féin finance spokesperson said; 

"Arlene Foster is making all sorts of claims in an attempt to justify her party's support for Tory cuts to welfare and public services. 

"She has further claimed that in the absence of an agreement on welfare and the lack of a budget that departments would not be able to spend money received from planning fees and other forms of income. 

"The reality is in that situation we would be entering into untested waters. 

"The Finance Committee previously looked at this issue in 2012. After receiving representation and advice many of its members were of the view that these monies could be spent in the absence of a budget bill. The bill in question merely sets a limit on the spending.

"It is clear that Arlene Foster is using her department to engage in scaremongering over this important issue. This is an effort to distract people’s attention from the fact that the DUP supported the Tory government in removing £1.5 billion from our block grant and is supporting Tory plans to cut a further £25 billion from public services and the most vulnerable.

"Given the public concern about these figures I believe it would be appropriate for the Minister to come before the Assembly's Finance Committee to explain how she came to this position." 

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