“there’s no need to slow down..”

Both sides seem keen to downplay the news that the Finance Minister Peter Robinson has told Sinn Féin Ministers to either use drivers from the official assembly pool or pay for their own from 23 May as “this ensures there will be a consistent approach which confirms with best accounting practice”. Previously, it appears, public funds were paid to the party to cover the cost of drivers they then supplied. But in this ‘new political dispensation’ we keep hearing about the point made by the DUP’s Jonathan Craig is valid

“If other government departments were paying private enterprises to deliver services which were already being delivered by a government department, I think you would find we would have to force an investigation on that matter”

It also gives the BBC’s Mark Devenport the opportunity to wheel out one of his amusing anecdotes..

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  • willowfield

    Anyone know why the Provos don’t like using the Government cars? In case the drivers are securocrats/unionists/Prods? Or so that they can create jobs for some of their former “volunteers”?

  • Turgon

    Willowfield – perhaps the cars were too British. Oh sorry I forgot there is no British owned car industry anymore except for varoius rather wierd things like Morgans and something called a Bristol. Maybe we need a Northern Ireland produced car for them: step forward the only possible option the Delorean.

  • mchinadog

    Willowfield

    I think your latter sentence is the correct one. But nevermind they will not be too concerned, their friends and comrades the Provos have plenty of the Northern Bank raid funds still at hand.

    Paying for their own transport will be no problem to Sinn Fien/ IRA, they have that much stashed away in their coffers between them they could pay for all the ministeral cars. Now that would be a nice gesture. Pay back time Gerry.

  • Prince Eoghan

    I think that Sinn Fein would rather not have their cars bugged again by HM security forces. Sort of de-stabilises Parliamentary democracy for the state to indulge in such matters. The driver situation will resolve itself over time once Unionists finally get comfortable with this democracy malarky.

  • Reader

    Prince Eoghan: I think that Sinn Fein would rather not have their cars bugged again by HM security forces.
    Why? What sort of stuff were they going to be saying in cars on trips to and fro on Government business?
    Anyway, do drivers paid by SF using Government money have to pass a Republican Loyalty test? (No unionist need apply…). And do they pay the drivers the average working wage?
    The following http://rte.ie/news/1999/1208/north.html suggests that it wasn’t a SF car that was bugged, but a SF supporter’s car – a car used to visit the IRA. Looks like a well targeted bug for the time, but how does it relate to the situation in 2007? Are the SF ministers going to be visiting the IRA at the Government’s expense?