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Muir calls for Finance Minister to answer Assembly questions on late night funding allocation announcement

Alliance Finance Spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has called for the Finance Minister to come to the Assembly on Monday to answer questions on the latest allocation of money from his Department, after a detailed statement outlining how hundreds of millions of pounds would be spent was issued late on Friday.

The Department of Finance put out the embargoed statement after 4pm on Friday, which Mr Muir said could be seen as a bid to avoid scrutiny.

“Allocations must be examined, especially when so many key funding requirements have been left unmet,” said the North Down MLA.

“It is vital the Minister comes to the Assembly Chamber on Monday and answers questions on the myriad of serious issues arising from his allocation, which was agreed by DUP and Sinn Fein outside of the Executive.

“Whilst providing much needed funding to the Department for Health has clear merit, questions remain, including the fact over £3 million in capital monies remains unspent. In the current climate, that is nothing short of scandalous, given how we should be investing in vital infrastructure projects.

“In addition, news around the lack of funding for Northern Ireland Water and Translink raises further concerns. Whilst I will be raising that in my role on the Infrastructure Committee, it is vital the Minister comes to publicly explain his decisions, as we seek to recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic.”