‘Exacerbating budget crisis’ Stormont collapse

The lack of a functioning Northern Ireland Executive has resulted in the Stormont budget crisis. An independent watchdog has confirmed that it.

Departments are on track to spend more than £650 million this financial year, which equates to almost 5

The Fiscal Council said this was mostly due to the impact of inflation and pay pressures.

Even though the spending controls arrangements in the absence of the finance minister seem to be making the situation worse.

The Fiscal Council’s findings on how well the Department of Education’s spending was monitored by the executive and the assembly means that there has been poor oversight of departmental spending.

The budget for the Northern Ireland Executive is controlled by Westminster, and the Executive is expected to operate within that total.

‘Confronting difficult decisions’

The lack of a budget is a big problem that’s being compounded by the inability to allocate funds between departments.

Other factors contributing to the situation were the ability of caretaker ministers to make spending decisions for which they had no money, the limited power of civil service accountants to impose discipline, and the absence of assembly committees to scrutinize the evolution of public finances through the year.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage the difficult choices that are facing the UK government at the moment,” said Sir Robert Chote, the council’s chair.

“This is going to make things even more difficult in the coming months, as the government struggles with its budget deficit and is unable to pass a new budget for a further two years. 

The absence of a functioning executive and the inability of the previous one to agree on a budget are making it even harder to manage these pressures.

Also Read: Beneath ancient Egyptian temple vast tunnel found

Leave a Comment