West Belfast MP Paul Maskey has said Sinn Féin will fight welfare cuts tooth and nail to protect the most vulnerable people in society.
Addressing a meeting of Sinn Féin delegates at the party’s monthly Cúige meeting bringing together party members from all across the north Mr Maskey stated:
“Sinn Féin will fight welfare cuts because it is the right thing to do. If the cuts proceed, more families will be plunged into poverty.
“Levels of deprivation across the North are on the increase. Cutting back on services such as health, housing and benefits only adds to the misery suffered by families on low income, people with disabilities and the poor.
“The British Tory Government has stated that its reform agenda is about getting people back to work.
“Yet a recent TUC report exploded that myth when it said that up to 75% of the people affected by the cuts to family tax credits, child benefits and housing support will be those already in work.
“Rather than imposing cuts the British Government should be honouring commitments made by them in the St Andrew’s Agreement.
“Among those was an investment of £18bn, which would allow us to invest in stimulating the economy. David Cameron and his cabinet of millionaires reneged on this commitment.
“If we frame the current economic difficulties in terms of this and the removal of £4bn from the block grant it is clear that the Tories do not care about the North or its economy. In terms of Westminster we are and remain its last priority.
“Sinn Féin has been consistent in our opposition to these vicious cuts and we will continue to work to protect those who will feel the hardest impact of this Tory-driven policy.”