SDLP Communities Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has called for financial support for working families dealing with the cost of living crisis.
Mr Durkan said that many working families were in desperate need of support and were being failed by the lack of Assembly and Executive.
Foyle MLA Mr Durkan said:
“The money being issued to people on welfare across the North will provide an important short-term lifeline to many who are struggling to get by as a result of the cost of living crisis. Along with the second payment in the autumn it will provide breathing space for families at an incredibly difficult time, in the midst of further price hikes all around us.
“While all support is welcome, it’s important to stress that it’s not just those on welfare who are struggling. Of course we should prioritise support for the most vulnerable people in our society, but working families are also finding it extremely tough. We are regularly hearing stories about people who are working 40-hour weeks, everyone from nurses to retail staff, who are being left with very little from their wages and are struggling to put food on the table and petrol in their cars.
“Nobody who needs help should be excluded from this support, though at best it is a sticking plaster to the problems people are experiencing and we need to examine ways of dealing with this crisis in the long-term. The SDLP has repeatedly attempted to introduce emergency legislation to unlock the hundreds of millions of pounds currently languishing at Stormont, but regrettably the DUP’s continued blockade of our institutions has prevented us from using it to help people. We cannot allow the public to be victims of our toxic politics and every party should be making supporting everyone through this emergency their top priority.”