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Peter is such a snow-off

By Noel McAdam

Published 15/12/2007

Finance Minister Peter Robinson rings out a decidedly unseasonal message on his official Christmas Card.

Rather than Santa or a Christmas scene, the DUP deputy leader depicts himself, arms folded and smiling broadly.

And instead of taking the traditional route of compliments of the season, he then spells out some successes of the power-sharing Executive.

Santa gets sidelined as the Stormont purse string holder points to some of his own "presents" , including:

> value for money public services;

> infrastructure investment of £5.6m over three years;

> 20% discount for single ratepayers.

Then, lo! amidst the snow, two carrot-nosed snowmen stand alongside the East Belfast MP - one informing us Household Regional Rates have been "frozen", the other complete with dauncher to make clear industrial rates have been "capped"

As if that wasn't enough to choke a turkey, Mr Robinson's cartoon card also underlines the word "prosperous".

Inside the official Department of Finance and Personnel card - the first since the return of devolution - it simply records, however: "Seasonal Greetings".

Mr Robinson was not immediately available for comment last night but a DUP spokesman said the card was meant to be more Ha Ha than Ho Ho Ho.

" The intention is really more of a comic effect than anything else," the spokesman said.

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