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Poots defence of RPA decision ‘laughable’

25 June, 2010 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has described efforts by the Environment Minister Edwin Poots to defend his decision to squander public money through his failure to move on the RPA as laughable.

Mr Maskey said:

“Edwin Poots in the face of predictable anger from ordinary people over his decision to squander up to £400m of savings through his failure to move on the RPA is now attempting to pretend that he came to this position because he wanted to save money.

“Edwin Poots must think people are stupid. He is now attempting to argue that 26 local councils with 582 councillors and 582 expenses claims works out cheaper for rate payers than a system with 11 councils and closer to 400 councillors. His sums don’t add up and people see through his arguments.

“The facts here are clear. The DUP agreed an 11 council model over two years ago. Significant figures within the DUP supported this approach. Edwin Poots and others hold a different view. They are opposed to the power sharing and equality provisions which were contained within the RPA. He also was opposed to the recommendations of the Boundary Commission and was seeking to gerrymander the Belfast and Lisburn Council areas.

“So these petty party political considerations were put before ordinary people and put before protecting frontline services and investing in health and education.”

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