[Sinn Fein]

11th February 2002

Hard Choices - Chairman of Finance & Personnel responds to Sean Farren

Chairperson of the Finance & Personnel Committee, Mid Ulster MLA Francie Molloy responding to comments from Finance Minister Sean Farren has said that we have yet to make the hard choices required.

Mr Molloy said:

``Fundamental to spending money efficiently and effectively are the reviews of rates, public administration and local government. Without these three fundamental issues being addressed it will be very difficult to deliver value for money.

``We are staring down the barrel of a spending review that will also determine to what extent we will be able to deliver change. The Assembly has constantly highlighted the issue of Barnett and the non recognition of our levels of need. It is time that the Finance Minister and Executive stopped making excuses for delay and got on with the job of ensuring we have the financial resources we require.

``There are many hard choices facing us. To do nothing is not one of them. We have yet to see the Executive collectively make the hard choices that mean we spend less within one department to ensure that we are able to spend more on health, education and transport. This is despite the fact that we have already recognised that they are out priorities.''

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