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No justification for collapsing Assembly

The debate over the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme has absolutely nothing to do with equality, as some political parties are trying to make out. It is not an issue of Orange and Green. The loss of public money involved in the scheme affects everyone.

Regardless of whether or not you think the former First Minister should have temporarily stood aside for two weeks to allow a preliminary report to be issued, it did not prevent an independent inquiry from taking place.

It has only damaged the public perception of the former First Minister and does not justify collapsing the Assembly.

An election will not solve the problems associated with the RHI scheme and will only cause generate community tension at the start of the marching season. RHI issues will still have to be tackled with political parties even more entrenched than before.

If the former First Minister had been implicated in fundamental wrongdoing by an independent inquiry and refused to stand aside, that would have warranted collapsing the Assembly.

Collapsing the Assembly just because one side does not get its way and then bringing more issues on to the table in order to make the issue a sectarian one causes much more difficulty than the RHI scheme itself.

Collapsing the Assembly raises fundamental questions over the workability and legitimacy of political institutions, when they can be so easily held to ransom by any one party who do not get their own way.

The same institutions cannot be just simply resurrected after an election. They will have failed to deliver good government to the population and need fundamental reform, so they cannot collapse every time there is a disagreement.

CONCERNED CITIZEN

Lurgan, Co Armagh

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