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Molloy - Budget redistribution undermines long term planning

12 August, 2003


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson, Mid Ulster representative Cllr Francie Molloy has criticised the latest announcement that over £280 million has been redistributed from the original budget decisions.

Former Chairperson of the Assembly Finance and Personnel Committee, Cllr Molloy said:

"While the announcement of money being redistributed within the block grant provides a short term injection of money to meet urgent needs in areas such as health and education the reality is that such a high level of budget redistribution is bad financial management and undermines long term planning.

"This weak financial management is a legacy of two previous SDLP Finance Ministers who were obsessed with the New Labour approach to budget management. Sean Farren and Mark Durkan enjoyed making announcements about 'new' money being redistributed in the belief that it 'looked good' but the reality is that it was never 'new' money.

"Moving such large sums around between departments highlights a weakness in budgetary planning. Departments need to know exactly what resources are available to allow for programme development and staff planning. It also disguises the fact that the block grant allocated through the Barnett formula is insufficient to meet our pressing needs." ENDS

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