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..