ALLIANCE Finance Spokesman Seamus Close has strongly criticised Finance Minister Ian Pearson for significantly increasing rates in the Northern Ireland budget for next year.
Mr Close also criticised those parties who also opposed Mr Pearson’s actions, but who backed rises in rates in exactly the same way while in Government.
Mr Close said: “Spin, deceit and sheer hypocrisy – the dubious defects of Phoney Tony’s gang appear to be highly contagious, as they have infected some of the local political parties. I nearly choked on my cornflakes when I read the reaction of some of them to the triple inflation rate rise in the regional rate proposed by patronising, penny-pinching Pearson.
“Excessive unacceptable, unfair were some of the adjectives used by certain parties which, when they had the power, did exactly the same thing and criticised Alliance for refusing to support it. The stench of hypocrisy is nauseating.
“As for Mr Pearson’s sideswipe at the people of Northern Ireland, I say ‘get your facts right’. We might pay less, but our incomes are smaller and the costs of other essentials – like energy, clothing, food and petrol – are much more expensive.
“Perhaps Pearson should speak to Minister Spellar, who also confirmed yesterday that one in seven of our population live in deprived conditions with unacceptable levels of employment, poor health and low educational attainment. We’re not spongers, Pearson!”