Following the defeat of a bill to limit the money paid to Stormont special advisers (SPADs), Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson, has criticised SF and the DUP for ‘acting with hypocritical self-interest’ by joining forces to vote it down.
Mrs Dobson, who voted to support the bill, said this sends out the wrong message to the electorate at a time when so many people are struggling.
The bill proposed to limit the money paid to controversial special advisers as well as limiting the number of posts. It was originally introduced by TUV leader Jim Allister but was defeated by Sinn Fein and DUP joint voting.
Mrs Dobson said: “Seldom has Stormont witnessed such a brazen act of self-interest than Sinn Fein and DUP MLA’s joining forces to defeat this Bill.
“Earlier that morning I spoke in the Assembly on workforce planning in the Health Service while the usual single, solitary and silent DUP MLA sat alone on their benches and the Health Minister once again demonstrated his continued uncaring attitude to the public’s health by once again not turning up,“ she added.
“Yet minutes after this debate had ended and the debate on Special Adviser pay began the chamber filled up with DUP MLA’s coming out of the woodwork. Recently the public have witnessed a special adviser leave their well-paid post with £45,000 ‘compensation’ and then walk straight into a new role as an MLA. This is entirely the wrong message which the DUP are sending out as so many local people struggle,” she concluded.