Growing recognition of need for financial package to transform public services

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has said the evidence of from three former senior civil servants to the NI Affairs Committee has reinforced the belief that additional finance will be needed if a new Stormont Executive is to make the necessary reforms to public services.

By Carla Lockhart Candidate

Upper Bann

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Sir Malcolm McKibben, Sir David Sterling and Sir Andrew McCormick were giving evidence to the Committee in Westminster today (Wednesday).

Speaking after the evidence session, the Upper Bann MP said:

“Whilst some parties are using election broadcasts and pamphlets to promise false hope to people that a reformed Executive would fix healthcare, protect our schools and transform public services, the DUP are levelling with people and saying this isn’t possible because the public purse is empty. If Stormont was back in the morning, cuts would continue - waiting lists would remain, school intervention programmes would not return, roads would remain in a state of disrepair.

We have already been told by current senior Civil Servants that the black hole in the budget sits at around £800m. Today, this pressing need for financial help was backed up by Sir David Sterling, former head of the NICS. He stated to the committee that an incoming Executive would need financial help if public services are to be delivered on a sustainable basis and transformation is to occur.

It is time other parties were honest with the electorate. Hollow promises and cliches won’t deliver for the people of Northern Ireland. This is why my Party Leader is engaging with the Government to ensure the political and financial foundations to deliver a stable and sustainable Executive are established. Others should join us in this important work, and deal with the realities faced by the Northern Ireland public.

We challenge the Government to step up. The Chair of the Committee, Simon Hoare, might crassly suggest our demands is to ‘stuff politicians mouths with gold’ but his comment is beneath contempt. We are fighting for our constituents and the sustainability of public services. Immature, obtuse comments like his demean the needs of the people of Northern Ireland.”

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