Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said it’s time for politicians in the North to start focusing on improving the lives of everyday people.
Mr Eastwood said far too often politicians were distracted from the job at hand by the myopic issues that blight politics in the North.
He was speaking ahead of the SDLP Spring Conference on Sunday.
Foyle MP Mr Eastwood said:
“People here are sick, sore and tired of issues like the Protocol and sham fights over who’s going to be First Minister getting in the way of real progress. Our communities want politicians who deliver for them, who listen to the problems they are experiencing in their daily lives and take it to the Assembly, to Westminster and do something about it.
“Across the North right now people’s lives are in disarray. The cost of living crisis is having a severe impact, people are unable to heat their homes, put food on the table and provide the kind of life that their families deserve. People can’t access medical treatment, buy or rent a home or get their children the kind of education they want for them. Our young people are worrying about the climate crisis and considering leaving this place behind forever. How do you think they feel when they turn on the television at night and see politicians discussing issues that are completely divorced from their lived reality.
“This place needs to change. We’ve had 15 years of empty and broken promises from Sinn Féin and the DUP and people’s lives have only gotten worse. Even during the pandemic they let their petty squabbles get in the way of doing what’s right to protect people here. If we are ever going to see real progress then we can’t keep doing the same things and expecting it to be different. People deserve better than parties who are only out for themselves, if we want to build a shared island and a shared society then we need politicians who are willing to fight to deliver for our communities so that we can build a better life for everyone that calls this place home.”