“It goes directly to the bank to furnish the mortgage..”

On Saturday, when noting the reported rent claimed from public funds by Ian Paisley Snr and Jnr for their new constituency offices in Ballymena, I asked the question, “Who is paying off the mortgage?” Today, via updates in the NewsLetter, where Ian Paisley Jnr claims the rent claimed will be closer to £56,000 per year, and from David Gordon in the Belfast Telegraph, we have the answer – The public.

Mr Paisley said: “There is no profit for Sarcon from the rental payments. It goes directly to the bank to furnish the mortgage.”

So, does that mean this will be a publicly owned building when that mortgage is paid off? And will the rental claims stop at that point? Or are those stupid questions..And Ian Paisley Jnr now claims that when Seymour Sweeney resigned as the sole director of Sarcon (No 250) he was replaced by Ian Paisley Jnr’s father-in-law, James Currie.. although the records have yet to be updated.

Ian Paisley Jnr also admits that he was the prime mover and shaker” in buying the property [corrected quote] – which answers the question of who Seymour Sweeney had been advising on the purchase.

Mr Paisley said: “I have absolutely done this correctly. I did not want to buy the property myself and rent to myself and put my father in an awkward position of renting from me.

“My understanding is that I could have bought it or put it in my wife’s name and she could have charged me. I did not do that.”

David Gordon notes in his report

It is permitted within the Assembly rules to claim rental expenses for constituency offices owned by family members. The House of Commons halted this practice a number of years ago.

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  • steve48

    I have to say that this practice is a cynical and underhand way of profiteering at the public’s expense. The assembly needs to move to outlaw this practice and anyone involved in it should cease immediately including I might add members of my own party if they are involved.

  • Some more links here (#25)

    eg Jim Curry has/had a property in the same block at Ballyallaght as IPjr.

  • As Tic

    “It is permitted within the Assembly rules to claim rental expenses for constituency offices owned by family members. The House of Commons halted this practice a number of years ago.”

    Only two centuries till we catch up with good practise.

  • “The House of Commons halted this practice a number of years ago”

    Would the Church Street office be used as the North Antrim Westminster Constituency office by both Paisleys, the MP and the research assistant?

    What about 142A Main Street, Bushmills? Should Paisley jr be paying rates on an office that is used for political purposes by himself and his DUP councillor colleague, David McAllister?

    BTW, what is the name of the company that is supposedly receiving the rent?

  • joeCanuck

    When did building up equity in a property cease to be considered as profiting?
    Do all those people currently (or recently) speculating in property know this?
    I wish I had a son-in-law dedicated to making me a wealthy property owner without me having to do anything..
    (Aside: Is it a good or bad thing that the mortgage wasn’t issued by Northern British Rock?)

  • Just a thought. In the realm of administrative hiccups I suppose it’s conceivable that the taxpayer could be paying the rent twice, firstly via Westminster and secondly via Stormont.

  • Joe, if this property has been passing through a number of companies it might be interesting to see the prices paid at each stage and whether or not they reflected market values.

  • joeCanuck

    We now know who currently owns the property. Do we know who owned it previously? That might be an interesting question.
    For example, why did Mr. Sweeny need to be a director of SARCON to facilitate the purchase, which Junior said early in this particular affair?

  • steve48

    True but then Bertie is not the best company to keep if you are asking for financial advice.

  • Greenflag

    From a half nation of spongers on the public purse this new outbreak of financial ‘morality’ sounds half hypocritical although in another way almost reassuring . Politics in NI is getting back to ‘normality’ 🙂

    It should give pause for half nation self reflection but of course it won’t ! The fact that almost 70% of Northern Ireland’s income per capita comes from the public purse makes Paisley Jnr’s ‘investment’ look like spilt milk ?

    But all is now revealed ?

    The man who sourced the information which has led to the latest saga in the seemingly unending affair, former Ballymena solicitor, Lyle Brutus Cubitt, has challenged Ian Paisley Snr. to resign his North Antrim seat and allow his son, Ian Junior, to face the electorate.

    In an exclusive interview with the Ballymena Times, Cubitt declared:

    ‘Ian Paisley Snr. is more often in the company of Bertie Ahern than he is at Westminster. In my view the electorate of North Antrim are not receiving value for their vote.’

    And there you have it once again folks – It’s the Fenians/Republicans/Catholics fault . It’s them what’s done it . If Paisley Sr had spent more time in Ballymena and carried on his usual oul guff and kept a watchful eye on his errant son why everything would be like it was in the good old days with people throwin bombs at each other and shootin and killin and thievin and not talkin to Catlicks . Can’t be havin any of that lark -God would not approve .

    It’s only an outbreak of mild Ahernia . Now all the Paisley’s need to catch is a dose of the full blown CJitis and ‘Brutus’ Cubitt will be well on his way to inheriting the North Antrim seat ?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    I think the rules say that a constituency office should not be used for party meetings or activities and definitely not as a community centre. The sole purpose of the office is to provide a centre for dealing with constituents. Unless maybe only a part of the rent is paid by Government.

    Maybe someone could confirm.

  • steve48

    I would suspect that the Bank of Ireland are more careful about giving out substantial mortgages to of the shelf companies which have only been activated than Northern Rock. Therefore one would assume that the name of Mr Sweeny as sole Director carried some weight in the decision making process.

  • lib2016

    I’m a socialist and I’m supposed to oppose this sort of stuff but you people are unionists and more rightwing, if anything, than your average colonial.

    Britain’s Irish colony has always been set up to take a good healthy war-profiteering piece of the action. Whether supplying the Navy with butter and linen, or the officer classes with bodies that what it’s function is.

    There’s never ever been a serious question of conscription. In the North the bodies were need for early industrialisation, in the South the eldest sons were needed for the farms and the younger sons for the Army and Navy.

    Now we live in a different economy as bequeathed to us by the Thatcherites when they changed the rules in the City and brought back de-regulation and banditry. The Paisleys are the descendents of Border Reivers who believe in playing every card and they are still doing it. I’m asking again, this is what NI is built on, why object now?

  • joeCanuck

    Why does Junior allow these revelations to drip out slowly, (c.f. I know of him) prolonging the adverse publicity. When he told us that Sweeny was the sole Director (albeit briefly), he should have known that the current sole Director’s name would be revealed.
    Can the guy not plan 2 or 3 days in advance?

  • haha

    Word is statement coming shortly from man himself.

  • wild turkey

    Wanna rent office space in Ballymena????

    annual rent £25,000
    specs below.
    any ideas on how the IPJ offices compare?

    Total Net Internal Area approx 4,336 sq ft

    Annual Rental £ 25,000

    Ground Floor
    Retail/Showroom Area approx 3, 478 sq ft
    Office 1 approx 165 sq ft
    Office 2 approx 107 sq ft
    Kitchen approx 376 sq ft

    Office 7 approx 62 sq ft
    Office 8 approx 64 sq ft
    Office 9 approx 84 sq ft

  • StormontObserver

    Junior will resign at 12.30pm You heard it here first.

  • joeCanuck

    Big man or little man?

  • Spike Lee

    Doing the right thing?

  • joeCanuck
  • darth rumsfeld

    “The Paisleys are the descendents of Border Reivers”

    …Er,possibly literally, and so are many of their constituents. We’re actually quite proud of our dishonourable past- planters from Scotland have been called the scum of the earth by commentators for centuries
    I recall Junior engaging in a flurry of correspondence with Cubitt in the News Letter, and I suspect he underestimated the tenacity of his opponent.

  • Greenflag

    ‘We’re actually quite proud of our dishonourable past- planters from Scotland have been called the scum of the earth by commentators for centuries’

    So why could’nt yiz have just fecked off to Australia like all t’other thieves, vagabonds , cattle rustlers, pillagers and arsonists . No ambition that’s whaa it is 🙂

  • “No ambition that’s whaa it is :)”

    Bigotry or racism, Greenflag. There were too many Dubs there … Ding Dong

  • ulsterfan

    He is one silly boy.
    Stupid to have his legitimate business dealings dragged into the public arena.

  • I love google ads. They are so unintentionally funny. When browsing I got
    [a href=”http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j274/Lord_Pounder/PaisleyAd.jpg”]this beauty [/a]

  • aquifer

    “When did building up equity in a property cease to be considered as profiting?”

    It never did.

    Recently property investors have been happy to accept rents that were less than mortgage repayments, as the increase in the property’s value more than made up the difference.

    It would be interesting to know what each of the Sarcon directors brought to the enterprise, in terms of cash or loan guarantees, and what they expected to get out in profit over time.