SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that a budget position forcing cuts on the Department of Education is a direct consequence of political failure and financial mismanagement.
The Foyle MP said that Chris Heaton Harris should never have been given the power to set a local budget and repeated his call on parties to take up the responsibility to form an Executive and govern in the interests of people across Northern Ireland.
Speaking after the Secretary of State published Departmental allocations today, Colum Eastwood MP said:
“A disastrous mix of fiscal incompetence and political recklessness has delivered us a Tory budget that will lead to stark cuts to education and other areas of public spending. It is a signal of the scale of the political failure that has been visited on people here that despite not having a single elected representative in Northern Ireland, Tory ideology will now direct virtually every aspect of public spending.
“The DUP has handed Chris Heaton Harris the power to make these decisions. And the spending decisions of other Ministers have given him the cover to make cuts to critical areas of public spending. It is grossly unfair that funding for our schools and the education of our children is now on the chopping block.
“The transparent threat to introduce new revenue raising measures in the absence of agreement to form an Executive will lead to further hardship for ordinary people who are already being hit again and again with food, fuel and energy bills that are smothering family finances.
“Further pain is not inevitable, power that should never been given to him can be removed from the Secretary of State. But it requires the DUP to acknowledge that the consequences of their protest are now inflicting unsustainable pressure on ordinary people, and on the education of our children. People across Northern Ireland can no longer afford to pay the price for this political selfishness.”