Wilson details Executive's final budget plans

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Finance Minister Sammy Wilson detailed the Executive's final budget plans for 2012-2013, on 11 February 2013.

He tabled a debate seeking approval for the spring supplementary estimates (SSE) which set out the plans.

Mr Wilson also brought a 2013-14 vote on account to the Assembly which asked members to support interim resource funding for the first months of 2013.

The minister explained the SSE process gave legal form to financial decisions made by the Executive in the three monitoring rounds in the financial year.

At different times throughout the year, government departments examine their own spending in what are called monitoring rounds when unspent money is returned to the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).

Mr Wilson said necessary changes had taken place to departmental budgets throughout the year and this meant the legislative authority set in place in June 2012 was now out of date and a new Budget Bill needed to take place to "reflect the year as we see it".

He said the amounts he was asking the house to vote were "significant" and included more than £15bn of cash, £16bn of resources and more than £2bn of accruing resources for departments and public bodies to spend in Northern Ireland.

The finance minister that he wanted the debate to be centred around "what we have spent, not a plea for what we should have spent".

He said it had been a difficult year for the economy but that indicators had shown that things were slowly improving.

Finance Committee chairman Daithi McKay said he would be supporting the SSE and the vote on account.

Speaking on behalf of his party, Sinn Fein, he said that he would like to see a debate on increasing funding for departments.

Education Committee chairman Mervyn Storey, Environment Committee chairwoman Anna Lo, the UUP's Leslie Cree, the SDLP's Dominic Bradley, Sinn Fein's Mitchel McLaughlin and Paul Girvan of the DUP also spoke during the debate.

The second part of the debate can be viewed here.

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