Sinn Féin has made it very clear, as an all-Ireland party that we are opposed to the swinging cuts being imposed on our people by either an Irish coalition government or a British coalition government.
Our TDs have opposed cuts imposed on the most vulnerable in our society by Dublin Tories and at all times have proposed credible, realistic and costed alternative policies to those implemented by Fine Gael and Labour.
In the north we face the same cuts and austerity agenda driven by the Tory led government in Westminster.
They have sought to impose this agenda on the most vulnerable of our people. I want to make it clear that the most vulnerable of our people come from across the so-called divide and they are within all communities- working class, low income families and the disabled.
British austerity policies have already resulted in massive cuts to the Assembly finances. An Irish government should oppose this, alongside ourselves, because such a cuts agenda is an attack on the political institutions, the prospects for political stability and a cruel assault on those who need to benefit most from the peace process.
Since the introduction of the British welfare “reform” bill into the assembly Sinn Féin has remained steadfast in our opposition to core aspects of the legislation and made it absolutely clear we will not support it’s current form. We are supported in this by a wide range of opinion across northern society – the unions, churches, rights groups, and the rest.
We have engaged extensively with the British, parties in the Assembly and critically with the dup. we have sought agreement to secure changes and for measures to mitigate against the cuts. One example is of course to offset the bedroom tax.We have secured agreement on some key issues but our work is not done and remember, none of these changes were possible without our rejection of the cuts agenda and hard negotiation. Again we call on the DUP leadership to commit with us to fight for the rights and entitlements of those most in need in our communities. We can do better."