Part of Oral Answers to Questions – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:00 pm on 17th February 2014.

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Photo of Simon Hamilton Simon Hamilton DUP 2:00 pm, 17th February 2014

I do not accept that there are inequalities.  If there were inequalities in pay, I would expect the requisite Department, whether the Department of Justice or any other, to come forward with a case of an unequal pay situation needing to be rectified.  He is right about the language I have used:  I have stressed that, although there is no legal liability and, therefore, it is not an equal pay issue, even though we continue to refer to it as such, there is a moral responsibility on me to investigate opportunities or potential solutions for a recognition of the moral responsibility that may well be there.

I appreciate that the Member is not asking me to step outside the legal responsibilities that I or Executive colleagues have.  However, looking at the news over the weekend, if the Member's party — the Green Party — had its way, perhaps it would add the extra stipulation that anybody who denies the existence of climate change should not be paid any money, whether moral or legal.