FINANCE Minister Sammy Wilson has been urged to bring an end to the long-running dispute over civil service backpay.
It is feared that it could cost £100 million to resolve the controversy over the pay owed to Catholic and female workers.
The SDLP's Declan O'Loan said he had written to the Minister asking for a likely end date for the dispute but was told none was yet in sight.
“This process is still ongoing, however there is no indication of an end-date. I accept the minister's opinion that the process must be robust but there is still no sign of a firm offer,” said Mr O'Loan.
Last year the then Minister for Finance Peter Robinson said low-paid civil servants could receive £100 million in back-pay.
Mr Robinson said he was planning to deal with inequality in pay which hit thousands of workers dating back almost 40 years.
But in a letter sent to Mr O'Loan from current Finance Minister Sammy Wilson it was said a series of issues had yet to be resolved, “that is why it is difficult, if not impossible, to lay down a timescale within which a final resolution can be achieved”.
The Finance Minister said: “I agree that the financial implications of a resolution to this matter will have to be faced but it is my responsibility to ensure that this is done in a manner that is compatible with our legal obligations, fully informed by the facts, but also in a manner that minimises any impact on public services.”
Mr O'Loan welcomed the minister’s assurances but called for a resolution without delay.
“Nonetheless, I am disappointed that the three month target set by the Assembly will not be met,” he said.