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Morgan calls for sanctions on Ministers who give misleading answers in Dáil

22 October, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Arthur Morgan TD accused the Minister of State for Housing, Noel Ahern of behaving contemptuously towards fellow TDs and the House in failing to provide answers to specific questions in the Dáil when he was readily able to provide the information to the media. Deputy Morgan made his comments while raising the issue in the Dáil this morning where he criticised the Minister for providing information on Housing to the media today, which he failed to provide in the Dáil last week.

Deputy Morgan said it was "simply unacceptable" for Ministers to be giving "sloppy answers" to questions put to them.

He said they must "stop waffling when responding to questions from members of this House. We must be assured that a proper standard of response is given by all Ministers and Junior Ministers to questions from TDs.

"The situation arose in this House last week whereby the Minister for State with responsibility for Housing gave an evasive, meaningless answer to a question regarding the delivery of 10,000 housing units in line with the commitments in the Sustaining Progress agreement. And then the Minister was able, within a matter of days, to provide journalists with the details, which he refused to provide to a member of this House, regarding the affordable housing scheme. This is simply unacceptable and Ministers who have information and refuse to give it to TDs in response to questions should be removed from Office.

"Sinn Féin will be raising the issue of Minister's failing to answer questions satisfactorily with the Committee of Procedures and Privileges." ENDS

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