Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has said the budget announced by British secretary of State Karen Bradley is disappointing for public services and those in need.
The Foyle MLA said:
“This is a disappointing budget which doesn’t provide the resources needed to provide the public services our people need and deserve.
“It’s not good for householders, for health, for our economy, our colleges or the homeless.
“As part of their austerity agenda, the Tories are forcing ordinary householders here to shoulder an above inflation rate increase.
“This budget is also tough on victims. There is no money here to fund legacy inquests or to start addressing the HIA issue.
“Seven departments, including those which serve vulnerable communities, housing and arts, face real-terms decreases. Two departments are getting an increase but these are not enough to meet the demand. The health department alone needs a six per cent increase just to stand still. This budget comes nowhere near meeting that need.
“The much-heralded ‘additional’ DUP money is not additional at all but is being used to plug gaps due to continuing cuts to our budgets by the British Government – with, of course, the full agreement of the DUP.
“We should be in a reformed Executive today, with the local parties setting out a budget and acting as a bulwark against Tory austerity.
“The two governments must act on their responsibilities as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement which provides for a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.
“They must initiate this conference as a matter of urgency and move to implement previous agreements and meet their obligations on equality.” ENDS/CRÍOCH