The Green Party NI Leader Clare Bailey MLA has commented on the effects of the collapse of the Executive on Stormont’s budget.

The South Belfast MLA said: “For the past two years, the five-party Executive system has demonstrated its inability to deal with crisis. The pandemic has also exposed the need for reform of our health services, something which should now be a priority for Ministers.

“Almost half a million people in Northern Ireland are now on surgery waiting lists, or waiting for their first appointment with a consultant. Our waiting lists are the worst in the UK, and addressing this should be Ministers’ focus.

“However, the collapse of the Executive means that the planned three-year budget will not now go ahead, and our public services will not get the long-term financial certainty they desperately need.

“There is also £300m of extra funding which cannot be allocated due to the Executive collapse. It’s unacceptable that whilst people struggle to afford heating their homes and feeding their families, Stormont is sitting on hundreds of millions which could be used to alleviate those financial pressures.

“It’s time for politicians to focus on securing long-term financial stability for our public services, and on alleviating poverty in Northern Ireland.”