Armstrong convenes cross-party group of Communities spokespeople to hear Budget pressures

A cross-party MLA group of Communities spokespeople has met for the first time since May’s election.

Communities Kellie Armstrong Budget

The meeting, organised by Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA and including MLAs from Sinn Féin, the UUP and SDLP, met officials from the Department for Communities to be briefed on the Budget for 2022/23 and 2023/24.

Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong, the former Vice-Chair of the Communities Committee, said she had called the meeting to hear first hand the pressures officials are facing as they are planning the Budget.

“Despite the Assembly and Executive currently being deadlocked, I called this meeting to enable all parties who were part of the previous Communities Committee to come together to get an understanding of the financial pressures this year and next,” she said.

“We also heard from Les Allamby, Chair of the Independent Review Panel on Welfare Mitigations, whose report can provide opportunities to help those on low incomes and those experiencing difficulty making their salary meet their living expenses.

“When Government is restored, parties will be working together to deliver a more limited public service as a result of a devastating Budget. It was important we were able to consider the implications together today. I hope it is the first of more such collaborations.”