Alliance slams Hain’s intervention to stop MLAs getting on with the job

Alliance Chief Whip Kieran McCarthy has angrily condemned the Secretary of State’s decision to pull the plug on Assembly debates next week and further limit the capacity of MLAs to get back to doing the job they were elected to do.

The Strangford MLA stated: “This is rampant hypocrisy of the worst kind from someone acting on behalf of a Government which is signatory to the Agreement we are trying to get working.

“Next week we were due to discuss the Review of Public Administration and the implementation of industrial rating – two crucial issues which threaten the prospect of creating a dynamic economy in Northern Ireland.

Yet the Secretary of State has denied us the right to a say on these issues. So much for ‘listening to what local politicians have to say’!

“Yet when we approach the Government on issues such as rates rises, water charges or free personal care, we are told to ‘get up the Hill and do it ourselves’. That is precisely what we in Alliance are trying to do – and yet we are being deliberately blocked!

“We MLAs were elected to do a job. We have no time to lose in getting on and doing it. Those who signed the Agreement have no right to block us from representing the people who elected us in this way.

“I would call for this decision to be immediately overturned. The Assembly must be allowed to debate the key issues.”


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