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

This is a very technical Bill to put on a statutory footing the moneys that we have already voted through the House or that have been raised locally. The departmental allocations that the hon. Lady questions are in line with the advice that I have received from permanent secretaries about the moneys that they need. How they spend that money is for them to determine, based on previous decisions of the Executive and on the previous draft programme for government. That leads to perverse outcomes: things not being as we would like them to be in Northern Ireland, differences in Northern Ireland and the end of programmes that we might otherwise have wanted to continue. Without a Minister to direct them, those programmes finish. The answer is devolved government in Stormont. That is the way in which there will be proper scrutiny and proper political accountability, and there is no alternative.