Aiken welcomes release of Fiscal Council’s Sustainability Report

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Aiken welcomes release of Fiscal Council’s Sustainability Report

Steve Aiken OBE MLA, the Ulster Unionist Party’s Finance Spokesperson, has welcomed today’s release of the Fiscal Council’s Sustainability report.

Dr Aiken said:

“Even though we don’t have a Northern Ireland Executive in place, it is good to see the Fiscal Council is critically examining Northern Ireland’s public finances. The amount of support from the rest of our Nation shows clearly the benefits of being part of one of the largest economies in the world. However, the report does point out that we have options to do more to improve our public services, in particular our critical infrastructure.

“The need to invest close on £2BN in our Water Service is a case in point. It may also come as a surprise to some that we don’t maximise our ability to borrow for capital projects, and it is true that our Northern Ireland Executive needs to do better at spending the allocation of monies it receives.

“The Fiscal Council argues that we need to take a different approach to assessing our fiscal sustainability, and on that point surely all sections of Northern Ireland society can agree. However, without an Executive in place the current and future budget process has stalled. Clearly change is needed now.”