Finance Minister, Conor Murphy today welcomed the publication of the Fiscal Council's first report which provides an in-depth analysis of how the Executive's Budget process works.
Commenting on the report, Minister Murphy said: "I thank Sir Robert Chote and his team at the Fiscal Council for this comprehensive guide to public finances here.
"This report is timely as the Executive prepares a multi-year budget from 2022-2025.
"While the British Government's Spending Review hasn't delivered the spending power we had hoped for, I agree with the Fiscal Council that it provides a real opportunity for longer-term planning.
"This Budget will set the Executive's spending plans for the next three years. Tough choices may be needed to ensure adequate funding is given to our priority of health. We must use this opportunity to invest in reform."
Minister Murphy continued: "Within the Fiscal Council response they recognise that the British Government's decision to bypass the Executive when it comes to replacement of EU funds could dilute local accountability and scrutiny. Alongside my counterparts in other Devolved Administrations I have consistently pressed for the devolution settlement to be respected."
Minister Murphy concluded: "I am keen to make the budget process as transparent and accessible as possible. And although the Fiscal Council's assessment is that the budget process here is more transparent than the British Governments budget we must continue to improve. The report has helpfully highlighted specific areas where transparency can be improved and where further budgetary information may be helpful.
"We will consider the report further as part of the development of the Executive's 2022-25 Budget which is to be finalised next year."