O’Toole: Public expect delivery after 100 days of devolution

matthew o'toole Executive Opposition Day

The SDLP Opposition has tabled a series of proposals aimed at setting firm timeframes for delivery ahead of the third Official Opposition Day at Stormont tomorrow (Monday 13th May) on what is the 100th day since the return of devolved government.

Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole MLA has said that good vibes between Ministers have been genuinely welcomed but 100 days into government, the public rightly expect delivery.

The principal proposal to be considered by the Assembly will be a deadline for the publication of a Programme for Government by the time MLAs break for the summer recess. Other proposals include a timeline for the establishment of an Independent Environmental Protection Agency and support for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector which faces an immediate sustainability crisis.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Opposition Day, Matthew O’Toole MLA said:

“The vast majority of people are glad that devolved government has returned and that Ministers appear to be, for the most part, working well together. But ask anyone on a hospital waiting list or fighting for an SEN statement for their child and they’ll tell you that good vibes and glossy PR don’t make life any easier for them.

“100 days into this new administration and people are right to probe Ministers’ priorities. Because despite months of engagement with senior civil servants and now months of direct power, the Executive doesn’t really seem to know what its purpose is - and that’s bad news for people relying on public services that desperately need to be rescued.

“As a constructive opposition, we don’t expect the Executive to have fixed everything, but the problem is that they don’t seem to have a plan to do anything. The First Minister recently told us that we shouldn’t ‘be in a rush’ but the truth is that people across our communities are in a rush - a rush to be seen by a doctor, a rush to get a home that meets their needs, a rush to get a good job and a good school to support their family.

“This Opposition Day is about delivery - on a Programme for Government, a plan to establish an Independent Environmental Protection Agency and urgent support for the tourism and hospitality industry facing an immediate crisis. Our consistent focus has been on outcomes that can change people’s lives for the better. We’re in a rush to change things and the Executive should be too.”

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