MINUTES OF THE SIXTY EIGHTH MEETING OF THE ASSEMBLY COMMISSION HELD ON WEDNESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2010 AT 2.30PM IN ROOM 106
Mr Peter Weir
Mr Pat Doherty
Mr Pat Ramsey
Mr Sean Neeson
Rev Dr Robert Coulter
In Attendance: Mr T Reaney, Mr T Logue, Mr R Stewart, Dr McGrath, Mr J Stewart, Mr H Widdis, Mr S Welch, Ms C Dodson and Ms F Leneghan.
1. CHAIRMAN’S BUSINESS
The Speaker thanked Members for attending the meeting at such short notice and highlighted that the meeting was convened to discuss the implications of the draft budget 2011- 2015 on the Assembly Commission.
2. DRAFT BUDGET 2011- 2015
Commission Members raised concerns that the Minister for Finance and Personnel and the Department had not accepted the Assembly Commission’s proposal of a budget position of an overall reduction of 13.3% over the 4 year period of the CSR. Members further noted the Executive’s Draft Budget proposed a cut in real terms of 25.8%.
The Commission discussed the implications of a cut of 25.8% for the Assembly. The Commission agreed that cuts of that nature could have a serious impact on the delivery of services across the Assembly. Following further deliberations, the Commission reaffirmed that the initial budgetary position of a reduction of 13.3% should be maintained.
The Commission agreed that a further paper should be drafted detailing the impact a cut of 25.8% on the Assembly, Assembly Members, Member’s Support Staff and the Secretariat. Mr Weir asked that the paper could reflect the cuts as applied to the Assembly’s budget both including and excluding the Members costs.
Members agreed that a meeting should be arranged between the Speaker and the First and deputy First Ministers, following Christmas Recess, to discuss the Assembly Commission’s position with regards to the Draft Budget 2011-2015. It was also suggested that, following that meeting, further meetings might be helpful between the Speaker and Party Leaders with a view to illustrating the potential impact of a cut of 25.8% on the Assembly’s Budget.
3. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Time and date of the next meeting to be arranged.