SDLP Chief Whip Dolores Kelly is exhausting every option to get emergency legislation to help struggling families onto the floor of the Assembly.
Mrs Kelly will today meet with the Assembly’s Business Committee and chief whips from other parties in an attempt to expediate the emergency legislation.
It comes after SDLP Communities Spokesperson Mark H Durkan submitted legislation to unlock £300m in funding to support families dealing with rising food, fuel and energy costs to Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey on Monday evening.
SDLP Upper Bann MLA Mrs Kelly said:
“Following the submission of emergency legislation by my party colleague Mark H Durkan to help families deal with the current crisis I will today be making every effort to engage with the other parties and business committee to do whatever’s necessary to get this legislation before the Assembly.
“Time is of the essence and if we are going to make this happen then we need to act fast. Every day the price of petrol is going up and people are receiving letters informing them of rises in the cost of heating and electricity. There are mere weeks of the current Assembly mandate left and we have to use every second of it to try and secure support for those who desperately need it.
“The SDLP are determined to do everything we can to help our communities through this crisis, but we can’t do it by ourselves. I’m urging every party to come together and voice their support for this legislation so that we can unlock the £300m and get it into the pockets of people here.
“It’s bitterly disappointing that the DUP have refused to do what’s right and return to the Executive in order to help people in dire need, but we cannot simply shrug our shoulders, we need to show leadership, put people first and explore every opportunity to get money out to people dealing with this emergency.”