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Muir says draft Budget proposals may mean Departments not being able to fund essential services

The proposals in the draft Budget may lead to Departments not being able to fund essential services, Alliance Finance spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has said.

Mr Muir was speaking after the three-year plan was announced to be going to public consultation from next week. Mr Muir said while that was a welcome move, Alliance could not support its content.

“Alliance is pleased to see the draft Budget going out for public consultation, with our Minister Naomi Long agreeing to prioritise improved health outcomes and investment,” he said.

“However, we could not agree to the proposed two per cent cuts across all Departments, or to the revenue and capital allocations proposed by the Department of Finance.

“The current proposals do not prioritise services across Departments on a cross-Departmental basis, which is concerning. As a result, some may not be able to fund essential services or fulfil statutory functions. While we all wish to see Health prioritised, we must also tackle the cause, not just the symptoms. Ensuring a healthy community requires investment beyond just the Department of Health.

“It is vital the public has their say during this consultation and share their thoughts – the integrity of the system is at stake.”