Independent commission to set out recommendations around fiscal framework for NI should be established, says Tennyson

An independent commission to set out recommendations around a fiscal framework for Northern Ireland should be established, Alliance Finance spokesperson Eóin Tennyson MLA has said.

Eóin Tennyson Finance

The Upper Bann MLA was speaking after the first Assembly debate of the new mandate, calling for public finances to be placed on a sustainable footing and for the Executive to have the resources it needs to deliver effective public services.
Mr Tennyson said the challenges facing the Assembly, including financial, were immense.
“The cost of living crisis is weighing heavily on households and businesses, with too many struggling to make ends meet. Public sector workers have now been forced onto picket lines and now await urgent action,” he said.
“Over the past 13 years, successive Tory Governments have given us more than a decade of austerity, a botched Brexit, a disastrous mini-budget and prioritised tax cuts over cuts to public spending, while ignoring the impact of the so-called Barnett squeeze.
“The constraints from that are most acutely felt here, the only devolved administration currently funded below relative need. That is compounded by the UK Government’s intention to wilfully underfund public services here into the future.
“That’s why Alliance is proposing the establishment of an independent commission to set out recommendations about the funding formula and a fiscal framework. It would draw on the experience of the Holtham Commission, which reviewed the Welsh Assembly’s funding and fiscal powers.
“That way we can build our financial funding model on evidence rather than political horse-trading. Delivering on our shared ambitions for local people will require a step-change in the approach to our public finances, both from the UK Government and those of us in these institutions. Alliance is up for that challenge.”