McLaughlin warns economy targets are being missed

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Targets for growing the economy are being missed, a Sinn Fein MLA warned during the debate on the Budget Bill, on 12 February 2012.

Mitchel McLaughlin said "missed or lost opportunities come with a price tag".

Raising a number of "problems" around the budget, he said bankers MLAs had met "are acutely aware that they are not accountable to this assembly".

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said the bill would allow departments to continue drawing down funds to ensure public services into the 2013 financial year.

He thanked the Finance Committee for allowing the bill accelerated passage as it required royal assent as early as possible in March.

Ulster Unionist Leslie Cree agreed with Mr McLaughlin that "targets need to be achieved".

He said committees would need the full figures on all aspects of the budget in order to properly scrutinise them before the estimates were debated in June.

Stewart Dickson of Alliance said the Executive had still not addressed the years of underinvestment in areas such as transport.

He said the need to invest in public transport was not taken seriously.

The second part of the debate can be viewed here.

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