Finance Minister Conor Murphy has welcomed the Fiscal Council’s Sustainability Report and says it highlights the need to increase the North’s financial capacity.
Commenting on the report, Conor Murphy said: “The Council’s report identifies the Barnett squeeze as the biggest threat to the sustainability of the Executive’s finances. Our spending power is decreasing over time relative to England. This is an unacceptable trajectory particularly given the cost of living crisis, our ageing population and the need for additional spend on our public services.
“Indeed the Fiscal Council’s Sustainability Report estimates that spending per head here will need to remain significantly higher in order to deliver public services that are comparable to public services to England.
“This report helps provide a substantive and independent evidence base with which I will be engaging with Treasury on.”
Minister Murphy added: “This squeeze on the Block Grant emphasises the need for a mature discussion on the potential benefits of greater local control over taxation. The report of the Fiscal Commission has started a conversation around what additional fiscal levers could be provided to an Executive here to allow locally elected Ministers to set taxes in line with local needs and circumstances. The Fiscal Commission’s report published in May 2021 will enable a future Executive to consider how fiscal matters could be best managed here.”
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