The South Belfast MLA said the party had long been clear it rejected the notion such budgeting should be undertaken by officials in the absence of Executive Ministers, when a reform to the devolved institutions would have Ministers back at their desks.
“The blame for the failings in this Health Budget ultimately lie with the party refusing to form an Executive and with the UK Government refusing to reform it,” said Ms Bradshaw.
“For all we recognise the impossible task Departmental officials have been left with as a result, we do also have to emphasise our rejection of the Health Budget as it stands. While my colleague Stephen Farry MP seeks an improved funding settlement at Westminster, we also need much more detail from the Department about the likely impact of the withdrawal funding on particular groups, and in fact on the whole process of transformation. We simply should not be in a position where we are delivering openly discriminatory budgets.
“We are also concerned there is a lack of detail and even understanding about the value of certain funding. For example, the Department seriously understates the merit of the Core Grants Funding Scheme, which provides a bespoke and immediate response to needs as they develop in the way standard budgets simply cannot. We have argued not just for maintenance of the scheme, but also for expansion of it as a highly effective way of tackling health inequalities and delivering early intervention.
“We would urge officials to re-think fundamentally aspects of the Budget, while of course demanding others who could ensure there were Ministers in post taking responsibility for the challenges ahead actually take action to do so.”