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Who is really in charge of DUP departments? - McKay

27 August, 2014 - by Daithí McKay


Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has asked if DUP ministers are really in charge of their departments. 

The Sinn Fein economy spokesperson said; 

"Edwin Poots' DUP colleague and finance minister Simon Hamilton publicly criticised his handling of the health budget in the June monitoring paper. 

"Now, Edwin Poots is claiming that document, including the criticisms, was written by civil servants. 

"Is Edwin Poots telling us that civil servants are running the finance department instead of the minister? Is he telling us that this paper was issued in Simon Hamilton's name but that he didn't read or agree the content.

"The reality is that Simon Hamilton signed his name to a paper that publicly criticised the performance of the health minister. 

"The DUP leader Peter Robinson attended briefings with the Chief Medical Officer in April where he heard about the problems facing the health budget yet his party still went ahead and slashed the health budget.

"Neither Simon Hamilton or Peter Robinson made any argument to meet the £160 million that the health Minister claims he needs. 

"Again, his inability to persuade even his own colleagues in the DUP raises serious issues about his ability to effectively run the health service.

"Sinn Féin is committed to securing additional money for essential services, including health and education but the minister has a responsibility to manage his budget properly and to persuade his own colleagues that he is doing so."

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