The SDLP Stormont Leader Matthew O’Toole MLA has said that a financial context report prepared by the Department of Finance is a damning indictment of the decision to abandon government during a period of significant pressure.
Mr O’Toole said that the financial context for working families is the hardest its been for years and repeated the party’s call on the DUP to act in the interests of people across our communities by returning to government.
Matthew O’Toole MLA said:
“The Financial context report prepared by the Department of Finance paints a grim picture of the state of public spending power. The loss of the equivalent of £2.3bn to inflationary pressures will place immense strain on already stretched services and will lead to worse outcomes for ordinary people and their families without immediate intervention.
“All of this is a damning indictment of the cynical political strategy to entrench uncertainty and abandon the responsibility of government during a time of immense difficulty. Worse still, the DUP has placed our public finances in the hands of a Tory government which is known for inflicting unspeakable hardship on people through public spending cuts. The inevitable conclusion of this process is that the UK Government will punish ordinary people for the DUP’s intransigence.
“The SDLP has published high level proposals for a triple lock on public finances that would protect people and services from cuts as a result of the reckless behaviour of the DUP. Our plan would also introduce enhanced scrutiny of spending to finally get public finances on a sustainable footing.
“The veto on government is unsustainable. It is time for the adults to get back around the table and to fix the desperate mess that this place is in.”