Ministers Criticised On Care Vote

Finance minister Peter Robinson has said some members of the executive broke the ministerial code by backing a vote on free care for the elderly. Mr Robinson said the executive had unanimously agreed not to vote for high-spending measures unless all ministers supported them.

He said to provide this service would increase regional rates by 25 to 30%. “I remember the hullabaloo there was when the direct rule ministers increased it by 19%,” he added. “We need to have some rational thought about how we propose to deal with these issues.”

On Tuesday, the assembly voted in favour of Health Minister Michael McGimpsey examining providing free personal care for the elderly.

A UUP amendment asked the Executive “to consider the costs and method of delivery in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review and in light of the other budgetary pressures facing the Executive”.