Sinn Féin will challenge Ministers on Budget proposals
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has made clear Sinn Féin's determination "to forthrightly challenge the British government proposed budget for the north".
On Monday the British Secretary of State and his Ministerial colleague Jeff Rooker will hold the first of a series of briefings for MLAs on current issues. These briefings will cover issues such as the Budget, health, Review of Public Administration and a Water tax and substantial Rates increases.
Mr. Adams said: "Sinn Féin has many concerns about crucial aspects of the budget being proposed by British government Ministers; the planned 19% rates increases and water taxes; the dependency on PFI; and concerns that the increase in expenditure on children, education, training and renewable energy will come at the cost to other services, are among the matters we intend challenging the British government on."
The Sinn Féin President said: "No British government can hope to get the balance right in budgeting for the needs of people in the north. This is particularly so when it applies criteria constructed for British conditions and not for those which exist in this part of Ireland, and refuses to acknowledge the adverse impact of lower wages, the higher levels of unemployment and poverty, higher energy and living costs and the effects of decades of discrimination and conflict."
"The proposals being put by the British government for spending in the north for the time ahead reinforces the argument that local politicians must take responsibility for this process. No group of British Ministers, working to policy positions designed for application in Britain, can hope to meet the needs of the people of the north. All of this emphasizes the imperative on the political parties to urgently re-establish the political institutions and again take responsibility for these matters." ENDS