Chamber welcomes focus on government arrears

The Chamber is pleased to see the issue of government arrears has once again been brought to light following the Principal Auditor’s report. This has been followed up by government with the decision to rein in on budget overspending by government departments as well as its stated intention of taking measures going forwards to tackle the problem of rent arrears. Whatever the political scrutiny each party will make, the issue of arrears and prudent management of government resources has been a key concern highlighted by the Chamber with successive governments for several years and most recently within its wish-list for the parties during the 2015 general election.

The Chamber fully understands the need to provide the right social framework to support those in real need. However, the current state of play where arrears are rising year on year unabated is simply unacceptable. It is important to recognise that arrears are also significant in other areas such as PAYE and corporation tax whilst the longstanding alleged abuse of the prescription system remains the order of the day. The Chamber welcomes the government’s stated intention of tackling these issues in a prudent and robust manner as well as the recently announced clampdown by government on alleged pharmacy prescription abuse.