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Sinn Féin call on Hain to examine NIO costs

14 February, 2006

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin has called on the British
Secretary of State Peter Hain to examine the annual costs of the NIO and MoD
to release efficiency savings that can be targeted on improving frontline
public services. Mr McLaughlin said:

"The latest expenditure figures for the NIO and MoD are £1,025 million and
682 million respectively. Peter Hain says he wants to look at the
expenditure of all government departments, and while many are suspicious
that this is not good news for public services, the logic must be that he
also examines the £1.7 billion expenditure in this area.

"The return of the local institutions and progress on demilitarisation would
suggest that there is a huge amount of potential in cutting back on the NIO
and military spending in order to direct money into frontline public

"No-one can escape the reality that much of the opposition to political
progress is directed by the spooks and spies operating from within the NIO.
These are clearly people with a vested interest in blocking political
progress because they recognise that as we move forward that their jobs will
become superfluous.

"Further progress on the transfer of policing and justice powers to locally
accountable ministers will further strip away the need to maintain the NIO.
This only reinforces the perception that it is these vested interests that
are standing in the way of progress, particularly through the use of the
corrupt political elements within the policing and security system.

Note to Editors

Government Sector DEL* AME** (And Capital Spending) Total Managed
Northern Ireland Office 984 Million            41 Million                   
      1,025 Million
Ministry of Defence 682 Million             0 Million                       
  682 Million
Executive                7,351 Million             3,902 Million            
            11,253 Million
Total                9,017 Million             3,943 Million                
        12,960 Million

Source: Book of Estimates 2003-04 Department of Finance and Personnel,
Hansard 08/05/04 and Budget 2003.`

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