A Sinn Fein councillor has slammed the DUP accusing them of hypocrisy after details emerged of Upper Bann MP David Simpson’s expenses.
Cllr Mark O’Dowd said the DUP politician’s expenses were the second highest among the north’s MPs just behind party colleague Ian Paisley Jnr and ahead of Jim Shannon, also from the DUP.
“Although a Member of a small minority Party within Westminster Mr Simpson’s £63,092 claim put him ahead of all but one member from the main Government and Opposition Parties,” said Cllr O’Dowd. “This revelation has further exposed the hypocrisy of the DUP whose local Government, Assembly and Parliamentary members consistently attempt to portray themselves as guardians of the public purse.
“Craigavon ratepayers who recently witnessed the DUP’s willingness to land them with a multi-million pound bill in an failed effort to promote an apartheid agenda will not be shocked at this latest abuse of the public purse.
He said: “This is not the first contentious issue to involve the DUP’s elected representatives in Upper Bann. Electors within the constituency who have observed this Party’s arrogance and lack of financial prudence when dealing with public funds will not be surprised at the size of David Simpson’s Expenses Claim.
“The DUP use every opportunity to pay lip service to the need to reduce rates and to present themselves as the saviour of ratepayer and taxpayer yet nothing could be further from the truth.
“Due to internal strife within their own Party they reneged on a multi-million pound agreement on the development of a reconciliation Centre.
“This duplicity cost the Lagan Valley Constituency thousands of jobs yet the DUP’s local MLA welcomed the decision. This latest news on expenses just one more in a line of unsavoury revelations and merely serves to further highlight the obvious lack of integrity.”
Upper Bann MP David Simpson said: ‘No one should take any lectures from Sinn Fein on the issue of expenses from Westminster. Sinn Fein MPs are happy to take not just their salaries as MPs but nearly half a million pounds each year in expenses yet cannot even be bothered to turn up and do their job as a Member of Parliament.
“I am a full time MPwho also goes to Westminster to speak and vote on behalf of the people of the constituency and Northern Ireland as a whole.
“We probably should not be too surprised however at these attempts to distract attention from Sinn Fein’s current difficulties given the recent revelations in court about their Party President and the fact that their constitutional project has been completely de-railed.”