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DUP must accept responsibility for continuing Direct Rule

7 November, 2005

Speaking as Assembly members are preparing to meet with the British Direct Rule Administration to discuss the draft budget Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin said that the DUP had to decide whether or not they were going to seize the opportunities presented by recent IRA initiatives and replace the current part time Ministers with an accountable local administration.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Today's invitation to discuss the draft budget proposals with Peter Hain and Jeff Rooker is not a substitute for local accountability.

"I have no doubt that parties present this afternoon will be in broad agreement on a number of these crucial fiscal matters. However the real decision needs to be taken by the DUP. Are they content to simply continue to complain from the sidelines about the policy decisions taken by the Direct Rule ministers or are they confident enough to see them replaced by a locally accountable administration involving all of the parties.

"If the DUP fail to grasp the opportunity to restore the power-sharing political institutions presented by recent IRA initiatives then they must take full responsibility for the continuation of direct rule and unaccountable government. That means more cuts to our public services, in our children's education and in health provision. It means increased rates and water charges.

"The DUP have the chance now to change all that and move into a situation where they govern this place along with the rest of us. They can choose to go down this path or they can continue to allow British Ministers to continue taking decisions in the interests of the British government instead of the people who live here." ENDS

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