Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has been accused of “mucking around” by withholding the rollout of $550 million in federal funds for housing in remote indigenous communities.

Senator Scullion last week said he was considering other options rather than just handing the money over, because the Northern Territory Government had not kept its promise of last April by matching the $550 million housing spend over a decade in its budget.

The NT Government is dealing with a budget crisis, including record deficit and debt levels and is borrowing to cover daily operations.

The federal government agreed in April to give the Northern Territory $550 million over five years for remote housing, which would be matched by the NT government but negotiations have broken down.