SDLP councillor Paul McCusker has said the failure to restore Stormont is hurting vulnerable people struggling with homelessness, mental health and addiction issues.
Councillor McCusker was speaking after the DUP blocked an attempt by the SDLP to elect a Speaker on Wednesday.
He said politicians’ focus should be on the rising number of people dying on the streets due to the lack of support.
Councillor McCusker said:
“During the SDLP’s attempt to revive the institutions at Stormont we heard much talk from the DUP about respect and consent, but we didn’t hear a single word about people who are struggling due to homelessness, mental health and addiction issues and are dying on our streets leaving behind devastated families and friends.
“Our politics is failing people, the DUP remain more interested in pursuing their own narrow political ideology than helping people in the grip of crisis, whether that be those on the streets whose issues have reached breaking point or families in their homes who can’t afford to turn the heating on and don’t have enough to eat.
“Our community is reeling from a number of deaths due to these issues in recent weeks, we have seen an outpouring of support and people have taken to the streets to voice their anger at the current situation, but once again Stormont has turned a deaf ear to the issues impacting people in their everyday lives.
“In the absence of political leadership, charity and voluntary groups are doing all we can to help people, but the only way we will ever tackle this scourge is through government-led interventions, by reforming our health service and putting the facilities in place to get these people the help they need. Without action we will see more people die on our streets and I am appalled that some parties find that so easy to ignore."