Public must not be punished for political crisis, says Tennyson, responding to SoS proposals

Alliance Finance spokesperson Eóin Tennyson MLA has said the public must not bear the cost of the DUP’s boycott of Stormont.

Eóin Tennyson Finance

He was speaking after the Secretary of State instructed Stormont departments to commence consultations on a sweep of revenue-raising measures including water charges, drug prescription charges, and increasing university tuition fees.


The Upper Bann MLA has said: “The punitive and arbitrary revenue-raising proposals outlined by the Secretary of State today may well be intended to exert pressure on the DUP, but in reality stand to only create more worry for the public, who are already hard-pressed in the midst of a cost of living crisis.


If we are to place Northern Ireland on a more sustainable financial trajectory, the Secretary of State must first confront the fact that Northern Ireland is structurally underfunded by the Treasury compared to its relative need, and work with local parties to address this shortfall. With the Fiscal Council indicating the gap could be as much as £1.2 billion over the spending review period, it’s impossible to overstate how crucial this is.


Simply expecting people to pay more for less is not a solution. These measures, in the absence of a wider financial package or coherent strategy for reform of the institutions, ignore the fundamental drivers of the current financial crisis that come baked into our political system, and would have a negligible impact on the overall long-term budget deficit.


Alliance has long-since tabled relatively modest proposals for reform that would see our political institutions restored on a permanent, sustainable basis, and allow for the stable, consistent governance necessary for undertaking crucial transformation of our public services and stabilisation of our finances.


They are not just a part of plan B, but are an essential aspect of plan A, and must continue to be prioritised in any conversation with the SoS going forward.”