Ministerial Statement: June Monitoring

On Tuesday 14 June 2016 the Minister of Finance made a statement on June monitoring:

Mr Ó Muilleoir (The Minister of Finance): It was good to hear children’s voices in the Gallery earlier. Occasionally, we hear childish voices in the Assembly, perhaps from all sides, but certainly children’s voices give a right good lift to the day. If you will allow me, Mr Speaker, in relation to Chris Lyttle’s proposal, I want to say that, in this monitoring round, we will allocate £5 million for special educational needs. I know that that will bring cheer to him and the parents who are with us today.

There have been two attempts to delay this statement. There have been concerns about the style of the statement and the monitoring round. Let me say to all my colleagues that this is what streamlined, efficient government looks like. This is the earliest monitoring round presented to the Assembly. This, in my view, is an example of a Government that deliver, and this is an indication of how we intend to do that in the time ahead. So take it, a Cheann Comhairle and Members, as a statement of intent to deliver for all our people.

A Cheann Comhairle, ba mhaith liom buíochas a thabhairt duit as deis a thabhairt domh an ráiteas seo a chur i láthair an Tionóil inniu. Is é seo an chéad bhabhta monatóireachta den treimhse nua seo, agus tabharfaidh Comhaltaí faoi deara nach ionann é agus na babhtaí a chuaigh romhainn ar chúiseanna a mhíneoidh mé ar ball beag. Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to present this statement to the Assembly. This is the first monitoring statement in the new mandate and it signals a marked departure — as Members have noticed — from previous formats, for reasons that I will explain shortly.

The monitoring round presented the new Executive with a number of very significant challenges. Many of those challenges emanate from the austerity agenda that the Westminster Government seek to impose upon the devolved Administrations. No doubt, we will return to that later in the Budget debate and rehearse some of the arguments we heard yesterday about how the Tories have no mandate here, what their wishes for our people are and how we are going to resist those. The imposition of an austerity agenda is entirely unacceptable, and I will make best endeavours to prevent the least-well-off from shouldering that burden.

Despite the challenges, the Executive have been able to conclude the monitoring round without having to engage in a draconian cuts exercise, confounding, may I say, the predictions of the naysayers. Given the pressing need to bring clarity to Departments and Ministers on the 2016-17 in-year position so that they can get to work with the money I am allocating, and in the interests of efficient governance, the Executive have agreed to my request to expedite the monitoring round through the urgent procedure mechanism. This is the earliest point at which any Finance Minister has announced the June monitoring outcome, and the quick conclusion of the process signals my intention, and the intention of my ministerial colleagues, to conclude business in a timely manner. I believe that the next Executive meeting will be at the very end of the month, and I think that this is a much more efficient way to proceed for all the people we serve.

You can read the full transcript in the Official Report (Hansard).