Elliott calls for review of system to ensure that driving jobs are publicly advertised

Tom Elliott MLA
Tom Elliott MLA

Figures showing that Sinn Fein ministerial drivers are far more prone to crashing than their civil service counterparts mean that the system of Stormont chauffeurs should be reviewed, the Ulster Unionists have said.

Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Tom Elliott said that Sinn Fein should at the very least advertise the driving posts so that members of the public could apply for the jobs.

Mr Elliott said: “This calls into question Sinn Fein being allowed to have their own drivers. At best, they seem accident prone. Some might say, they`re downright careless.

“I understand that Civil Service drivers have to have some form of advanced driving skills. Does anyone even know what skills or training these publicly paid Sinn Fein drivers have to have to get a job? The fact that the jobs are not even advertised, and the drivers are wholly unaccountable to anyone but Sinn Fein, is just another example of the Executive Office failing in its duty to use taxpayers’ money openly and transparently.

“It’s time to review it. If the public purse is going to supply the vehicles and pay for the damage every time a Sinn Fein driver prangs a car...then the public has a right to know what level of training these people receive. Sinn Fein should apply some transparency to their driving pool, and tell the public how they can get a driving job.”

The News Letter contacted Sinn Fein last week to ask whether in light of the fact that taxpayers pick up the bill every time that there is an accident, the party is doing anything to improve the standard its drivers. However, at the time of going to press, no response had been received from the party.