Simon Hamilton’s letter last week was a disingenuous attempt to kick up dust to obscure the shameful actions of DUP MLAs in joining with Sinn Fein to vote down my proposal to reduce the budget of the Christian-persecuting Equality Commission.
He claims their budget had been reduced by 7 per cent; but page 128 of his Budget 2015-16 reveals this is against a 12.8 per cent cut across the resources of OFMdFM.
So, it seems the Equality Commission was let off light.
Moreover, none of the general austerity cut was linked to the Ashers case, whereas, my proposal was specifically to reduce the Commission’s budget as a rebuke for their persecution of this Christian bakery.
It is this which the DUP deliberately voted against, primarily, I suspect because it was TUV that proposed it.
He claims that my proposal wasn’t specific to the Equality Commission and implies that the cut to OFMdFM could have impacted the budget for victims.
Nonsense. The amendment, as he well knows, was very specific. It stated that the money was “a reduction in the cash grant from OFMdFM to the Equality Commission”.
Let’s consider for a moment what those who voted for the budget supported. The budget included funding for an Irish language school with 14 pupils, millions of pounds to OFMdFM not just for victims (who get a pittance) but to fund twice as many staff as the Prime Minister – including 124 in the “equality and strategy directorate” - and thousands to “gay rights” groups like the Rainbow Project through the DUP controlled departments of Health and Social Development.