“As a result of the mis-management of the Budget which was originally set by the then DUP Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, we are now facing a £160m funding crisis within our NHS in Northern Ireland. It must also be pointed out that this is before any of the factors associated with the potential Treasury welfare reform claw backs are factored in, and so the situation could be even worse”.
“Michael McGimpsey had been hounded by the DUP when he highlighted the inadequate budget settlement for the health service in 2011. DUP Ministers and MLAs poured scorn on him and the First Minister had even described his position as “obscene”. The latest letter from Minister Poots to the Health Committee in which the Health Minister admits that there is a £160m funding gap in Health this year, shows that it was actually “obscene” for the DUP to play politics with the NHS.”
“Further evidence of the budget mis-judgement can also be seen from the admission that despite receiving record amounts of additional in year monitoring funding- over £100m during 2013/14, the Department of Health expects to end the year with a deficit of £14m.
“It is highly unusual for any Department to exceed their legally authorised expenditure limits. Civil servants have faced threats and sanctions in the past as a result of such breaches.
“Because of failings in the four year budget originally set by Sammy Wilson in the DUP/SF/Alliance deal, the Health Minister is now seeking additional funding when others have re-allocated their departmental funding. The Health Minister is presently considering health charges, cutting services, and further staff pay constraint.”