Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:50 pm on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 3:50 pm, 5th March 2019

Of course, there is full scrutiny of the Northern Ireland block grant—that is the estimates process that we went through last week in this House; this House is able to scrutinise the block grant. I well accept the point the hon. Lady makes about the undesirable level of scrutiny and about how the allocations are made between Departments—I do not disagree with her on that. It would be much better to have the full scrutiny process that a devolved Executive would be able to deliver. We are in a very unsatisfactory position. I would rather we were not doing this in this way, but in order to ensure that public services continue to be delivered and that public servants—the civil servants in Northern Ireland—have the statutory underpinning they need for the spending, we are taking forward this budget Bill. I would really rather we were not.