To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Annex A of the New Decade New Approach Agreement, what recent assessment he has made of (a) the merits of and (b) progress on establishing the Independent Fiscal Council.
23 November 2020
The Fiscal Council is an important new part of the governance of Northern Ireland. It has the potential to make a huge contribution to fiscal sustainability in Northern Ireland over the long-term and strengthen Northern Ireland’s fiscal performance. The Northern Ireland Department of Finance is leading on developing the Terms of Reference for the Fiscal Council. The Northern Ireland Finance Minister has recently updated the Assembly that his department is now actively refocusing on this issue.
In his engagement with Executive ministers, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has consistently emphasised the need to press ahead with an Independent Fiscal Council as a priority in his regular communications with members of the Executive and at both previous meetings of the Joint Board.
The UK Government will continue to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to agree terms of reference that reflect our joint ambitions for this new institution and get it up and running as soon as possible.