McCarthy questions motion put forward for debate by Hain

Alliance Chief Whip, Kieran McCarthy, has questioned the usefulness of the motion proposed by the Secretary of State, Peter Hain, for debate in this Friday’s Assembly plenary session.

The Strangford Assembly Member stated: “The motion put forward by Peter Hain involves spending reviews for 2004 and 2007. He also wishes us to discuss the implications of spending priorities for a programme for government.

“This motion is not what the we have asked for. The business committee has four times requested a discussion on the Review of Public Administration; however, Mr Hain has refused us the chance to discuss this matter in Friday’s debate.

“I fear that other political parties will not be interested in this issue and will not take part in the debate.

“Peter Hain has not even told Assembly Members to discuss the issues raised within the Restoration of Devolution Committee in Friday’s plenary session.

“In the past, I said that he wasn’t even allowing the Assembly to be a talking shop. Now he wants a talking shop, but it looks like its going to be one that can only deal with issues that Assembly Members do not even want to discuss.

“The Secretary of State must recognise the need for Assembly motions which will attract all parties into a debate to ensure that progress on breaking the current political deadlock can be made.”


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