DUP accuses UUP of double standards

The DUP has come in for attack this week over their expenses claims. Party Chairman Lord Morrow of Clogher Valley has defended the party’s reputation saying: “The DUP uses any and all allowances that we receive from Westminster and Stormont for the service of our constituents or to enable us to carry out assembly and parliamentary duties. We have the largest network of advice centres in Northern Ireland working for people on the ground.”

He has also turned the spotlight on UUP MEP Jim Nicholson accusing him of ‘Opera, Wine and cruising at the taxpayers expense’. Jim Nicholson is the most traveled British MEP according to Open Democracy, clocking up a total 40,400 106,600 air miles. What exactly has Jim Nicholson achieved for Northern Ireland in traveling around the world? Also the UUP is a party which has attacked Sammy Wilson on climate change. I don’t dare to calculated Jim Nicholson’s carbon footprint (others may do so if they wish).

  • The DUP – The Fianna Fáíl of the North???

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Throwing stones when their leader and his partner spend almost £230,000 of our money – £40,000 on a home in London when they are hardly ever in parliament. This doesn’t include their income from their other political jobs or money paid the their family etc.

    Will they tell us house many days they spent at Westminister last year and how many days in where ever they claim their allowances for.

  • John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard

    Robinsons,Paisleys,Dodds,Donaldson, McCrea, Campbell,Simpson, Wilson and all the other triple and double jobbers what is the total cost to us the taxpayers. What is the total cost to us for each one totally declaring every penny they have received in the pursuit of all their positions.Come on Lord Morrow you publish it or be hoisted by your own pettard.Each family should do this including the barons Paisley and Morrow.Be frank and open and save us the time digging it out. It might make you pause for a little reflection.

  • “DUP accuses UUP of double standards”

    UUP Council Chairman welcomes President McAleese to Moyle – and there was no DUP picket.

    A former DUP councillor was shunned by the party when he proposed that President Robinson visit Moyle.

    Mind you, it would appear that Ballymoney councillors weren’t informed in advance that President McAleese would be visiting Dunloy. Obviously an administrative malfunction.

  • Fair Deal

    FruDem and John K Lund

    The information you seek/demand is already in the public domain on a range of civic society websites (e.g. theyworkforyou) or government sites (that is how this debate on allowances started because they were published in easy to read and count tabular form).

    I would be able to take your deep concern more seriously if the UUP reps below hadn’t sought a dual/multiple mandate during the present Parliamentary session:
    1. Cllr David McClarty MLA – east l’derry
    2. David Burnside MLA – south antrim
    3. Cllr Roy Beggs MLA – east antrim
    4. Cllr Fred Cobain MLA – north belfast
    5. Cllr Sir Reg Empey MLA – east belfast
    6. Cllr Michael McGimpsey MLA – south belfast
    7. Dermot Nesbitt MLA – south down
    8. David Trimble MLA – upper bann
    9. Billy Armstrong MLA – mid ulster
    10. Cllr Danny Kennedy MLA – newry and armagh
    11. Cllr Tom Elliot MLA – fermanagh and s tyrone
    12. Cllr Derek Hussey MLA – west tyrone

    Why was it fine for a dozen UUP reps to seek in the present session such a mandate but wrong for someone else to get? I am not aware of any of these candidates promising to waive the staffing, office, second home allowances etc if they’d been elected, is my memory mistaken?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    FDeal.

    If you know the answers to the below why don’t you publish it here.

    1. Why are your leader and his wife claiming £40,000 for their housing allowance, are they living at two different addresses?

    2. How many nights did they spend there?

    3. How many days did they visit the chamber at Westminster?

    The detail will be published in June anyway.

    Empey and Cameron have stated that double jobbing will no longer be acceptable in the the CU’s, will your leader do the same any time soon?

  • Fair Deal

    Fru Dem

    “If you know the answers to the below why don’t you publish it here.”

    I know the answers to questions were the info is in the publci domain, same as everyone else.

    The expenses figures have already been published on slugger
    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/sinn-feins-strangely-regular-accomodation-expenses/
    Seymour Major has already listed the relevant info on the link above but if you want the original info is here:
    http://news.parliament.uk/2009/03/members-allowance-expenditure/
    2. To get Westminster vote attendance go to
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/
    or
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mps.php
    Campbell 45%
    Dodds 44%
    McCrea 46%
    Paisley 21%
    Robinson I 29%
    Robinson P 37%
    Simpson 40%
    Wilson 48%
    Sylvia Hermon (presuming UCUNF wish to associate themselves with her) 27.7%.

    When UCUNF’s David Trimble held the various positions that Peter Robinson presently does (97-01) he managed an attendance rate of 7% and 26% for the 01-05 period.

    “Empey and Cameron have stated that double jobbing will no longer be acceptable in the the CU’s, will your leader do the same any time soon?”

    ROFLMAO Sorry but most of the Cameron’s shadow cabinet are double jobbing (As are the UUP’s Ministers and significant proportion of MLAs).
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1560363/Shadow-cabinet-criticised-for-outside-interests.html

    In fact Cameron threatened to act on it
    http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/58846/SADDO-CABINET.html
    But then chickened out
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/dec/24/conservatives-david-cameron
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/3187956/ben-brogan-three-shadow-cabinet-members-would-have-quit-rather-than-give-up-their-parttime-jobs.thtml

    If it is also unacceptable perhaps you could explain why Tom Elliott has been selected to run in the Westminster election for Fermanagh and South Tyrone by the UUP while possessing two existing mandates – cllr and MLA – and this was done in the presence of the Shadow NI spokesperson.
    http://www.fermanaghtoday.co.uk/fermanaghnews/Fermanagh-UUP-holds-annual-general.5103486.jp

    “will your leader do the same any time soon?”

    Again Fru Dem your knowledge of the DUP let’s you down surprising for someone who focuses so much upon them 😉

    Robinson talked about addressing the issue in August last year in an interview with MickFealty no less and highlighted on this site.

    “Robinson agrees that this problem of dual and triple mandates must be addressed, and concedes that there is a need to draw upon wider talents within the party. But, hinting perhaps at Sinn Fein’s threats to pull the institutions down, he injects a note of caution.
    “People within the party recognise that, until the stability of the Assembly is more firmly established on a longer-term basis, there will be reluctance among people who are Westminster MPs to give up their seats to work exclusively in the Assembly. There will be a phasing-in of that approach.”
    http://www.totalpolitics.com/magazine_detail.php?id=78
    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/index.php/and-that-perhaps-is-the-difference-between-now-and-the-past/

    I happen to dislike multiple and my last thread will be on that topic but the Conservatives and/or UUP are in no position to claim the high ground on expenses, attendance or multiplemandates

  • Frustrated Democrat

    F Deal

    We all know why it is your last post, the position is indefensible and talking about other parties won’t make it go away for the DUP.

    1. The conservatives ‘double jobbing’ is not at the tax payers expense, none hold 2 jobs at the tax payers expense.

    2. Robinson, unlike Empey and Cameron, has not said it will stopped, his underlings don’t want to see the end of the gravy train and it would cost his family a fortune.

    3. Elliot has not been approved as yet as the candidate for F&ST; nor won a Westminister seat so why should he resign his current seats. If he is actually officially selected and wins he will have to resign them.

    Based on the figures you present it would seem to be a lot of £££ per night in London, if they stayed 365 days a year it would still be £100+ per night, from your figures it would seem to be about £500+, and because Trimble was wrong doesn’t make them right.

  • Fair Deal

    Fru Dem

    “talking about other parties won’t make it go away for the DUP.”

    No it won’t make it go away neither should it. It certainly has it made it go away for the Conservatives. However, it will show that the other parties ‘deep concern’ is dubious and contradictory.

    “1. The conservatives ‘double jobbing’ is not at the tax payers expense,”

    One of the complaints about those holding multiple mandates is that they cannot be two places at one time. It is true of anyone double-jobbing regardless of it being in the public or private sphere – the physical impossibility remains.

    The electorate was pretty much aware of the multiple mandates of the UUP and DUP people they elected but how many of the Tories made sure the electorate was aware of their other jobs?

    BTW what do you think of Cameron’s idea of abolishing the expense but then just giving it direct as salary?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/5094284/MPs-salaries-could-be-increased-in-exchange-for-cuts-in-allowances.html

    And the UUP’s double jobbing on the taxpayers expense?

    “2. Robinson, unlike Empey and Cameron, has not said it will stopped”

    Oh dear first you claim he hadn’t said anything now you try to ignore what he said.
    “Robinson agrees that this problem of dual and triple mandates must be addressed” “Westminster MPs to give up their seats to work exclusively in the Assembly. There will be a phasing-in of that approach.”

    So the disagreement between UCUNF and the DUP is not the problem, the need to address it but the how – total or phased?

    “3. Elliot has not been approved as yet as the candidate for F&ST;”

    Fermanagh seems to think differently
    “Other important business on the meeting agenda was selection of Ulster Unionist candidate to contest the next General Election in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Tom Elliott was unanimously endorsed by the UUP members”

    No mention of going forward to the Joint Committes but “to contest the next General Election”

    “because Trimble was wrong doesn’t make them right.”

    But Trimble has been one of the front-men for the UCUNF alliance. If such behaviour was wrong why is UCUNF so happy to be associated with him and hinting of government/cabinet positions?

    It simply demonstrates that the core problem for the UUP is not the what of the issue but the who.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    F Deal

    Back again I see.

    No mention of the Robinsons’ expenses there, as I said it is indefensible. My complaint is about snouts in the trough of the taxes I pay several times by many individuals particularly the First Minister and his family who are supposed to be the people setting an example not stuffing their pockets. It should all stop as and from the next elections as they take place.

    What I said about Elliot is correct he has been selected as a candidate by the local UUP association, there are ratification processes to follow thereafter. I understand that he needs to be ratified by both the UUP leadership and then the CU joint committee, as will all Westminister candiates who will take the Conservative whip.

    Trimble has not been involved in any negotiations and any hints were from the press, 3 local Conservative members and the Shadow Secretary of State were those involved. To dispel any rumours this was an NI lead initiative from day 1 between the UUP and local Conservatives not from London.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    F Deal

    Any comment you would like to make on the below?

    Update the total figure from tax payers for the Robinson dynasty per annum is estimated at £571,939

    http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/252199/The-Robinsons-married-MPs-are-making-a-family-fortune-from-politics.html