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.
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 wifes 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.