'Abuse inquiry cash at risk' - Robinson

Published Saturday, 19 July 2014
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First Minister Peter Robinson has warned the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry's work could be suspended if the Executive fails to agree on budget adjustments.

The June Monitoring Round has yet to be agreed because of disagreement over welfare reform.

Mr Robinson says it will be impossible to sign off funding for the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) and other projects because of the hold-up in agreeing the overall funding package.

The inquiry was set up by the Executive and is looking into abuse in local care homes between 1922 and 1995.

The inquiry team is due to report to the Executive by the start of 2016.

The DUP leader said: "The Executive has already approved the payment for Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry subject to the approval of June Monitoring Round.

"If you don't get the money through the monitoring round then there is no funding to allow Judge Anthony Hart to proceed with the inquiry and that would be an outrage if that were to happen."

He added: "The HIA would have to be suspended if there was no money for it.

"The accounting officer in the department couldn't allow money to be spent if there is no approval for it.

"I think within the next number of days there has to be a very real attempt made by everyone to resolve all of these issues."

I don't see us getting to that tragic set of circumstances and I don't want to raise alarm that it is something that is going to happen.

Peter Robinson

"We know what the British Government's position is over welfare reform, there will be no more concessions. The only thing that can change is Sinn Féin.

"This is not the DUP saying one thing and Sinn Féin saying another, this is happening, this is reality."

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey, who sits on the OFMDFM scrutiny committee, rubbished Mr Robinson's claim the inquiry was under threat.

He said: "What Peter Robinson is doing is he is picking one project over another project.

"There are a lot of projects which may suffer if the DUP want to impose the type of cuts that they are talking about.

"The DUP could just as easy say they are going to stop something else and they have been doing that in a very sustained drip feed manner."

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Dorothy in Kansas wrote (93 days ago):
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: The poem begins as an old sorcerer departs his workshop, leaving his apprentice with chores to perform. Tired of fetching water by pail, the apprentice enchants a broom to do the work for him – using magic in which he is not yet fully trained. The floor is soon awash with water, and the apprentice realizes that he cannot stop the broom because he does not know how. The apprentice splits the broom in two with an axe, but each of the pieces becomes a whole new broom and takes up a pail and continues fetching water, now at twice the speed. When all seems lost, the old sorcerer returns, quickly breaks the spell and saves the day. The poem finishes with the old sorcerer's statement that powerful spirits should only be called by the master himself... Is it time for the return of Big Ian Paisley
Radio bell in Artigarvan Strabane. wrote (93 days ago):
Stop draging your heels . Sinn Fein you have been elected to do a job. Get on with signing of on the welfare reforms as they are not going to go away plus all you are doing is causing worry and misery to the most vurnable in the province. Think of the abuse that was caused to those people.
Owen in Belfast wrote (93 days ago):
The politicians in this country are like petty children. It beggars belief that they are actually in charge. They couldn't agree on the colour of the sky.
John in Newtownabbey wrote (93 days ago):
No money to get at the truth and there is also a shadow over free transport for the over 60s which costs £10m per year. Strange, I've heard that amount mentioned as the cost of policing a certain protest.
Mark in Belfast wrote (93 days ago):
One word sums up peter robinson. IDIOT !!!
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