Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Presbyterian Mutual saved - for members' votes?

Roll up, roll up, there's an election coming and Presbyterians, we want to buy your votes.

We have dithered and procrastinated for 18 months, we have given you loads of tea and sympathy, but in reality we were only ever interested in your votes and now they are of some use to us.

At the 59th minute of the 11th hour, my colleagues and I have come up with a twinkly bauble that might just hold you mesmerised for the next six weeks - or, at least, until you come out of the polling booth.

But be assured the closeness of the election and the need we have for your votes, is a coincidence.

Be aware the shelf-life of this solution is only valid until the day the polls close and then we will treat this pledge like the rest - totally dispensable if no longer required. Bear in mind that, should the Treasury not come up with the readies, we will of course blame those heartless Brits, but that won't happen until after the General Election, so go out and vote for us in any case.

This about sums up my cynical take on the announcement from the Office of the First and deputy First Minister regarding the Presbyterian Mutual Society.

To some, this may seem to be the beginning of the end of this crisis, but to others, including myself, it could be summed up as a form of cash-for-votes.

If the Treasury hasn't approved this proposal - and they are crucial to it - why announce it? Why raise people's hopes?

ULTONIAN

Portadown, Co Armagh

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