SDLP Leader’s statement ahead of roundtable talks

colum eastwood stormont

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has called for meaningful dialogue between the five political parties during roundtable talks with the British Government in Hillsborough.

The Foyle MP said that this should not be a simple briefing on the state of public finances but instead should form the basis of a final dialogue to restore the Executive to deal with the crisis in public services.

Speaking ahead of the roundtable on Monday, Colum Eastwood MP said:

“The SDLP is entering these discussions with three key priorities. They must generate the final momentum to restore the Executive, there must be a serious plan to rescue public services and we need to hear how a fair pay reward for public sector workers out on strike will be resourced. Anything else is a waste of time.

“People waiting years for hospital treatment deserve the respect of knowing what we’re doing to help them. Nurses, teachers, public transport providers and everyone else forced to strike for a fair pay deal deserve to know that we are taking their needs seriously. Everyone who relies on core public services deserves to know there is a plan to get our society back on track.

“We aren’t going to Hillsborough for a cosy catchup. It’s time to get the deal done and restore the government.”

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