Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that working families are being pushed into poverty by a cost of living crisis that governments have failed to address.
The Foyle MP accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of looking after himself and his rich friends rather than working families after it was revealed that the government has written off £4.3bn in covid loan fraud and a further £8.7bn in PPE costs while raising national insurance and cutting universal credit payments.
Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, Colum Eastwood MP said:
“Hard working families across Northern Ireland are at their wit’s end. They’ve endured more than £1000 in cuts to universal credit payments, decreed by Boris Johnson and rubber stamped by Sinn Féin Ministers, their national insurance is going up and they are being pushed further into poverty by a cost of living crisis which is now out of control.
“Almost every household in all of our communities has received a letter from their energy provider informing them of further price rises. People already struggling to keep their heads above water are being hammered by a crisis which neither the Executive nor the British Government has got to grips with.
“What makes it worse is the total mismanagement of public funds that we’ve seen across government. While people here struggle, the British Government has written off more than £13bn in Covid loan fraud and unusable PPE. The Communities Minister was quick to get support to golf clubs but has still left thousands of working families without any support. There is absolutely no sense of perspective or priorities.
“By contrast, the SDLP has a nine-point plan to support hard pressed families and those struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living crisis gets worse. People deserve so much better than this incompetence in government.”