Fishy findings

Jim Allister has not been taking ‘No’ for an answer about the government’s refusal to provide the fishing industry with tie-up aid. The refusal was supposedly based on an particular interpretation of an EC rule on state aid. Using the Freedom of Information Act, letter writing and questioning Allister has discovered that the Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development had not sought any legal advice when they publiclly claimed any continuation would be a breach of regulations. In another example of bureaucratic ineptitude, the young man mistakenly targetted and blinded in an LVF gun attack has been refused compensation. The cause given was his personal failure to report it to the police. Apparently, his being in a coma was insufficient excuse. In the past ten years key public bodies here have seen significant reform, why has the Northern Ireland Civil Service escaped the same degree of attention

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