A hairdresser in Banbridge has claimed some Stormont MLAs are “availing of the black market” and getting their hair professionally cut, despite close-contact services not being allowed to operate.
heila Hughes, who runs a hairdressing business in Banbridge, made the allegation during BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback show on Wednesday.
Explaining her business has been shut for 43 weeks, the hairdresser claimed that there was a “black-market economy” going on in Northern Ireland and proceeded to say Stormont MLAs were “availing” of the services of professional hairdressers.
Not naming any specific member of the 90-member Assembly, Ms Hughes decried the fact that hairdressing was taking place “right across the country” against current Covid-19 regulations.
Non-essential retail and close-contact services such as hairdressers, beauticians and tattoo and piercing parlours, are currently closed.
From April 12 outdoor non-essential retail will reopen but this will not include hairdressers.
On Tuesday, the First Minister Arlene Foster said she hoped she would be able to provide dates for the reopening of hairdressers, with the Executive due to meet to discuss the further relaxation of restrictions in Northern Ireland.
Ms Hughes suggested it was obvious that illegal haircuts were taking place as a result of being able to “tell the difference when it is professionally done” and called on the Executive to give a date when she could reopen her salon.
“Hair grows half an inch a month, on average that is two inches at this stage. We only have to look at the black-market economy that is going on in Northern Ireland as far as hairdressing is concerned,” she said.
“Even our MLAs are availing of the black-market economy, which is contributing nothing to our healthcare, our education or our infrastructure. I don’t have to say anybody's name.
“I am absolutely stringent in everything we do within our salon. Yet it is all going on in the black-market economy.”
BBC Talkback host William Crawley cut in to say there were many ways MLAs could be getting their hair cut without having to resort to illicit means. He himself confessed to cutting his hair and it looking terrible.