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Budget 2016-17

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:45 pm on 19th January 2016.

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Photo of Alex Maskey Alex Maskey Sinn Féin 3:45 pm, 19th January 2016

I thank the Member for that intervention. I think the Member will know that a figure of over £500 million has been identified for mitigation for the cuts being imposed by the British Government and that there are other cuts. Obviously, that £500 million will not allay or assuage all the problems, but I firmly believe and am confident that it will go a considerable distance towards supporting those who are most vulnerable in our society. I look forward to hearing further details from Professor Evason and her colleagues when they are in a position to do that.

I welcome the fact that we have a Budget today that stabilises the political institutions, which now starts to give certainty to the Departments and, more importantly, the recipients of the Budget in the time ahead, at least for the next 12 months. It is important that we stabilise the situation with the Budget. The Budget was hard fought for but does not go anywhere far enough in addressing all the cuts imposed by London. I am satisfied, however, that, under the circumstances, the parties involved in the negotiations did as good a job as they possibly could.