The question was tantalizingly clear:
How many settlement payments were made which contained a gagging clause in each of the last five years broken down by Department and the total amount paid by each Department?
However, our Treasury Minister was seemingly unable to comprehend it. Having requested Mrs Beecroft to repeat it he appeared to misunderstand what had been requested and restricted his answer to employment issues. Mrs Beecroft made it clear that the question contained no reference to employment issues, as indeed it did not. Mr Teare, ever concerned about making savings, had not wanted to ‘engage the department in unnecessary work’ and we now still await the answer – to be supplied in due course?