Skip to main content

Parades Commission

Volume 587: debated on Wednesday 29 October 2014

10. What the cost to her Department was of the Parades Commission in each of the last five years. (905673)

The cost of the Parades Commission was £1.01 million in 2013-14. In the preceding four years it was £1.37 million, £0.93 million, £1.07 million and £1.01 million respectively.

Rather than reducing the tension surrounding parades, the Parades Commission has actually contributed to further tension because of its bias against the Orange Order, its incompetence, and its propensity to give in to republican protesters. Does the Secretary of State agree that we now need a root-and-branch change in the way in which contentious parades are dealt with in Northern Ireland?

The Parades Commission faces a hugely difficult task in adjudicating on highly sensitive parades, and I think that it performs that task well. If the political parties in Northern Ireland want a different system for parading, that is open to them, but the only way in which to achieve that is to get round the table and consider future reform in the cross-party talks that are now under way.