SDLP MPs have tabled an amendment to the Budget Bill which would mandate the UK Government to engage with the Irish Government on the terms of financial settlements.
The NI Budget Bill will be debated by MPs in Parliament on Monday 4 September as the House of Commons returns from summer recess.
It was first introduced by Chris Heaton-Harris in June because of the failure of the DUP to form an Executive and agree a budget.
The SDLP has consistently argued against a stealth return to direct rule in Northern Ireland and has said that the spirit of power-sharing must be facilitated through enhanced cooperation between the British and Irish Governments.
The new clause tabled by SDLP MPs Colum Eastwood and Claire Hanna would place a duty on the Secretary of State, in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive and normal governance provisions, to consult with the Irish Government on the NI Budget.
SDLP Leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood said: “For 19 months people have been waiting for the DUP to get back to work.
“We were told to wait until after the local government elections, then until after the summer and then to autumn.
“Autumn has arrived and still we are without a local devolved government, meanwhile this Tory budget will have a devastating effect on people here as a result of the brutal cuts to public services.
“The DUP can’t be allowed to call the shots anymore, they need to understand that power-sharing will endure, whether they like it or not and whether they take part or not.
“In the absence of an Executive, the spirit of the Agreement must be facilitated by enhanced cooperation between the British and Irish Governments.”
Claire Hanna MP added: “This is a short-term reactionary budget, it will deliver hardship now and stores up more of the same for the future by failing to tackle issues around the transformation of services.
“We must also be cautious of the false economy of penny pinching today only to have to pay a bigger price down the road. Urgent reform of services cannot be put off.
“We need a new approach, new thinking to create solutions to these problems and it would be prudent to approach some of these on an all-island basis.”Tags: