Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Monday, 20 June 2011 19:45 UK

Budget Bill (continued)

Debate on the budget bill resumed after Question Time, on 20 June 2011.

The DUP's Brenda Hale took the opportunity to make her maiden speech.

Mrs Hale spoke as the widow of an army officer who died on active service in Afghanistan and criticised the MOD's track record in supporting the families of deceased service personnel.

She also called on the education minister to provide funding for a new build for a primary school in Dromore in her Lagan Valley constituency.

In an intervention the SDLP's Alban Maginness expressed fears for the future of the accident and emergency department at the Mater hospital in north Belfast.

He had raised the matter with the Health Minister, Edwin Poots, whose reply Mr Maginess said "was so non-committal that it set alarm bells ringing".

In a lengthy contribution the TUV's Jim Allister attacked the budget and the executive from a number of angles including the cost of north-south bodies, secrecy in government appointments, the cost of consultants, the Maze conflict transformation site and funding for the GAA.

The Green party's sole MLA, Steven Agnew, said the budget was a missed opportunity.

The finance minister, Sammy Wilson said the debate had been "like a BBC repeat".

This was about the fifth time they had had the same debate and members had set themselves up for the same replies, Mr Wilson said.

He questioned whether or not changes needed to be made to the budget process, perhaps with fewer stages of debate and better presentation of data.

The bill was passed on a cross-community vote.

You can see the first part of the budget debate


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