Another issue with the Rule of Law applying equally to everyone is that this is also the case financially.
A recent case revealed that Carers’ Allowance was being paid, in the case of one Councillor, directly into Sinn Fein’s bank account.
There has long been an issue with Sinn Fein representatives’ salaries being paid directly into party accounts. This is irregular and, in the case of benefits, illegal. It has implications for tax, as much as anything else. Sinn Fein has to realise that money in its account which should be taxed is being taken away from public services, not put into them – it does not get to dictate such things. We are long past the point where this should be being enforced.
However, that was not the most peculiar aspect of the Councillor story. What was peculiar was that the Judge, essentially, did nothing about it, even though it goes beyond irregular.
We are, therefore, left with the bizarre situation that Sinn Fein is taking a particular position on benefits which is of relevance to its own party bank account. This is a blatant clash of interest – as well as being illegal.
Elected representatives should pay the tax they are due to pay and receive only the benefits to which they are entitled.
At the talks, all parties can agree to that, right?