Press Release

Finance Minister's Lack of Consultation Threatens to Delay Budget Bill

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Reference: CFP 05/11/12

The Assembly Committee for Finance and Personnel today postponed its decision on whether to allow the Budget (No.2) Bill 2012 to be fast tracked through the Assembly.

The Committee has the power to grant accelerated passage to the Budget Bill on the basis of whether it has been appropriately consulted on the expenditure proposals in the Bill.

However, the Minister of Finance and Personnel failed to provide the appropriate documents for Members to examine at its two previous Committee meetings, where DFP officials were due to discuss the Bill. The Committee has now summoned the Minister to a hearing next week to explain this delay.

The Committee Chairperson, Conor Murphy MP MLA, said “The Finance Minister has not provided a satisfactory explanation for the inordinate delay on his part in providing the necessary papers. This is an important piece of legislation which provides for billions of pounds of public spending.

“The position of the Committee needs to be respected, and it will not be granting accelerated passage until the Minister has given a full and plausible explanation for this delay and until the Committee is satisfied that there has been appropriate consultation with it on the Bill.”

ENDS


Notes to Editors:
  1. The Accelerated Passage procedure and the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s role in agreeing accelerated passage for Budget Bills are set out in the Standing Orders of the Northern Ireland Assembly under standing order 42(2). http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Assembly-Business/Standing-Orders/

Committee Members:
Conor Murphy (Chairperson) (Sinn Fein)
Dominic Bradley (Deputy Chairperson) (SDLP)
Roy Beggs (UUP)
Judith Cochrane (ALL)
Leslie Cree MBE (UUP)
David Hilditch (DUP)
William Humphrey (DUP)
Paul Girvan (DUP)
Paul Maskey (Sinn Fein)
Mitchel McLaughlin (Sinn Fein)
Adrian McQuillan (DUP)

Further information on the work of the Committee is available on the Committee pages of the Northern Ireland Assembly website: www.niassembly.gov.uk

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