Departments need to ensure planned spending so no money handed back, says Muir

COVID-19 Economy Andrew Muir Finance

Executive Departments need to ensure planned spending is carried out so no money is handed back to Westminster, Alliance Finance spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has said.

Mr Muir was speaking during an Assembly debate relating to a motion on the supply of cash and use of resources by Departments in the current financial year, and also a motion giving them authority to spend funds in the next next financial year until the main Budget is presented.

“Given the unprecedented levels of spending we have seen over the past 12 months, we need to ensure value for money is being secured when we are seeing the use of public finances,” said the North Down MLA.

“With so much public money available and a limited time to spend it, there is pressure on officials to just get the money out the door. It is right we push Departments o release money to those who need it as soon as possible but that money needs to be efficiently and transparently spent.

“There is a need to invest in many sectors as part of our recovery from the pandemic. The Finance Minister must outline what spending is planned to ensure money is not handed back by any Department to Westminster, rather allowing public funds to be spent wisely and well.”