Budget Bill: Second Stage

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 9:45 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Fearghal McKinney Fearghal McKinney Social Democratic and Labour Party 9:45 pm, 9th February 2016

I thank the Minister for his indulgence. I go back to the point I made earlier. This is not just about the maximum amount of money or the percentage of the money that is allocated to Health. It is about how that money is spent, and we know that there is massive wastage in the system. There is £50 million spent on bank and agency staff, and there is £40 million spent on sickness. Major percentages can be saved out of overprescription. Those are the issues that are at the heart of this system.

I appreciate that the Minister has made the point that I am not being glib, because I have drilled down into this issue for two-and-a-half years. It all comes back to the point that the DUP failed fundamentally to invest in a Transforming Your Care plan that wanted money shifted left so that there would be investment in the community and we would not have what Transforming your Care predicted, which was haphazard change. Unfortunately, the failure to plan has led to that haphazard change, which is why we are experiencing the huge queues in elective care, with 400,000 people waiting for operations and appointments.