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October Monitoring

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:30 pm on 25th October 2016.

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Photo of Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Sinn Féin 3:30 pm, 25th October 2016

I thank Mr Allister for his question. I am confident that it will not be repeated. I did not find money in this monitoring round, if you recall. I found it in June, when we placed £20 million in the centre as a sort of contingency because we did believe that that pressure would come this year. We estimated that perhaps there would be another £30 million. I am not sure, Mr Allister, whether you were in and caught the questions earlier. The Minister for the Economy, who has responsibility for this area, managed to make internal reallocations so that, thus far, at least we have not faced an additional £10 million pressure. I will repeat this because perhaps you were not in. He can be sure that it is my intention not to have this particular issue rolling on for 19 more years. In fact, I think that there is an imperative on us to make sure that that does not happen because every pound that we spend in dealing with the overspend on RHI is a pound that we take away from vital front-line services.

I said earlier, and I repeat, that I am pleased with the focus that the Economy Minister has brought to the issue. I am pleased with the strategies that his officials are working on. I look forward to the Economy Minister being in a position in the near future to come forward and give him, me and the House some comfort over how we are going to get to grips with the issue.