Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“One of my first acts as an MLA was to ask a series of questions across all departments about pay and allowances to Special Advisers.
“The question to Nelson McCausland’s department was tabled on 17th June 2011.
“The question was not answered until exactly two years later on 17th June 2013.
“I attempted by way of further written questions to establish when the Minister was provided with a draft answer but was met with stonewalling replies. Having felt I had exhausted that route I submitted a Freedom of Information request asking when the Minister received a draft answer. The reply reveals that Nelson McCaulsand was provided with a draft answer 11 days after the question was tabled.
“Why, therefore, did the Minister sit on the answer for a full two years? I raised this by way of a point of order this morning on the floor of the Assembly and will wait with interest to see if the situation improves.
“The Minister’s conduct in relation to this matter is totally unacceptable and reveals a total disregard for Assembly standing orders and an MLA asking legitimate questions about the use of public money.”