SDLP Foyle MLA Mark Durkan has said that the refusal of the DUP to re-enter the Executive is making it impossible to deliver the support that people need to cope with the cost-of-living emergency.
It follows the announcement that due to the lack of a functioning Executive, legislation will be introduced in Westminster to enable limited payments to be made to some households in Northern Ireland along with households in Great Britain from 14 July.
Mr Durkan said:
“People across the North are at their wit’s end and it is clear that the price of the DUP’s refusal to enter an Executive is that it is impossible to deliver the support that is needed to desperate families and individuals. People who are working every hour that they can, are still not able to make ends meet. Although these payments are a step in the right direction, they will still leave far too many people out in the cold, struggling to make ends meet without any support whatsoever.
“We know that there is £435 million locked in a Stormont bank account that could be put to use if the DUP get over their own selfish interests and back into the Assembly. It is unconscionable that the money is there to help people with this emergency, but those who stood on an election platform and promised to help, won’t turn up to work. People won’t forgive the DUP for holding the North to ransom, letting children go hungry while they pursue a reckless agenda with a Tory government.
“The quickest way for this crisis to be addressed is for the DUP to re-enter the Executive and work with other parties to get support out to people who need it most. Failing that, they should at least allow the Assembly to nominate a Speaker so that we can work together to pass the SDLP’s emergency legislation that would get help to those who need it.”