Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said hospital waiting lists will grow, companies will go out of business and jobs will be lost because of the DUP’s refusal to allow the Executive to set a budget.
Responding to the budget set by the British Government, Conor Murphy said:
“A three-year budget which I proposed to the Executive should have been agreed months ago to enable proper planning of public services.
“The DUP’s refusal to allow the Executive to set a budget and its subsequent collapse of the institutions has left departments struggling to control spending and now a one-year budget has been set towards the end of the financial year. This is hugely damaging for public services, particularly the health service which desperately needs financial certainty.”
On business rates the former Finance Minister said:
“The Executive provided a three-month rate reduction for a number of businesses, including retail and hospitality. All other businesses received a one-month reduction. Ulster University were commissioned to identify those that should be targeted for additional support in the final budget.
“However, the Tory budget has not provided additional rates relief for businesses. Many businesses are struggling with rising costs and they will not survive without additional support.
“That crucial support has been denied by the DUP’s blockade of the Executive. Consequently, companies will undoubtedly go out of business and jobs will be lost.”
On pay Conor Murphy said:
“Public sector workers including teachers and nurses should get a fair pay rise. It is not clear from the British Secretary of State’s announcement what is happening with public sector pay. I will urgently be seeking clarity on this matter.”
On the threat of water charges Conor Murphy continued:
“The British Secretary of State has also signalled his intention to introduce water charges and rise rates on people and businesses during an inflation crisis.
“This will only add to the cost of living and the cost of doing business.
“I stopped the imposition of water charges when I was DRD minister with the full support of Executive colleagues.
“It is essential that the Executive is restored so that local elected representatives can protect people from the full impact of Tory policy.” ENDS/CRÍOCH