Responding to comments by the SDLP MLA John Dallat, Kieran McCarthy stated: “Demanding that every penny of government spending is accounted for makes for a very good sound byte – but his own party has ensured this will not happen!
“The SDLP has prime responsibility for placing the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, which is the main body charged with scrutinising government spending, into the hands of Sinn Féin, one of the parties doing the spending!
“Is it not nonsense that a government party member should take responsibility for scrutiny of that government’s spending? Can the public have any confidence in such a ridiculous system? In any other western democracy, opposition parties chair the public accounts committee or equivalent. Why should our taxpayers be treated any differently? It is a total and utter disgrace that Executive parties have abused their privileges in this way.
“The public can have no faith in this committee’s ability to ensure that the money they pay in rates and taxes is spent wisely and accountably. That is the SDLP’s legacy to the new Assembly.”