Eastwood: New Ministers must deal with outstanding challenges

Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that changing political personnel in the Executive will make no difference to the lives of people across Northern Ireland unless there is a marked change in approach to government.

Speaking after the announcement of new DUP Ministers, Colum Eastwood MP said:

“I want to wish the new Executive Ministers well as they get to grips with the significant challenges facing public services as we begin to enter the Covid-19 recovery period.

“The truth is, however, that changing the personnel and personalities around the Executive table will not make one blind bit of difference if there is no change in attitude and no step change in delivering on the issues that matter to people. Hundreds of thousands of people waiting for hospital treatment, many of them in pain, want to know when this Executive will produce a funded plan to get them the help they need. People who have lost their jobs during the pandemic want to know how the Executive will support them to find new work. Students in places like Derry want to know when the Executive will deliver on the commitment to expand higher education and give them the opportunity to create a life for themselves on this island.

“The faces may be changing but the people in power are still the same. The DUP and Sinn Féin have been joint heads of government for 14 years. We have already started to see a lurch back to the same old politics of division and deadlock. People deserve something better. I hope that we see a change in attitude and a step change in delivery. Anything less is more of the same and it isn’t good enough.”

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