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I congratulate the DUP on its ability to play clever politics, to be sleekit, to take something and to turn it round, and to use the motion in order to play on people’s fears. I acknowledge the DUP’s ability to pour poison and invective on those who are standing up and fighting for the people of Northern Ireland and for the Health Service, as the Minister is expected to.
I also admire the DUP’s ability to rewrite history. I admire the fact that somebody said — and I am happy to take an intervention, if anybody wants to tell me where this text came from:
“Northern Ireland has suffered from relative underfunding for decades…more than 20% extra spending per capita on health care is required to achieve the same level of service as in England.”
Who said that? The DUP manifesto in 2005 did.
“The Health Service in Northern Ireland has suffered from long-term under-funding relative to the rest of the UK.”
Who said that? The DUP manifesto in 2007 did.
In March 2005, describing the direct rule health budget increase of 9% as insufficient, who said the following?
“The extra money does not allow for any new service development. Proposed allocations will not even allow trusts to stand still. In fact they are being forced to withdraw services.”