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Attwood attacks most vulnerable and deprived communities

9 March, 2011 - by Jennifer McCann

Speaking from the Assembly this afternoon west Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann has slammed social development Minister Alex Attwood for saying he will be voting against the Social Investment Fund at today’s debate on the Budget.

She said;

“For weeks now the SDLP and their new found partners in the Ulster Unionist / Tory franchise have been grandstanding on the issue of the Budget.

As a direct result of Sinn Féin’s work and working together with parties willing to engage, the Executive Budget has now an additional £1.5 Billion.

The SDLP and the UUP position does not stand up to scrutiny. The amendment tabled to the Budget is too little to late. The only financial commitment made by the proposer’s is to take £80m off the most disadvantaged in society.

This money is specifically about tackling disadvantage in some of our most deprived areas; it is up to Alex Attwood and the SDLP to explain to the people why they are opposed to directing £80 million into areas of demand.

In today’s Budget debate the social development Minister, on this occasion speaking from the back benches, attempted to distract from their opposition to funding for socially-deprived communities, by quoting alleged comments from an alleged individual at an alleged meeting, suggesting that this was some kind of slush fund.

The people of Belfast know all too well the history of the SDLP when it comes to political vetting and the targeting of grassroots community organisations.

Attacking the disadvantaged, as the SDLP are doing by voting against this Budget, is not opposing Tory cuts, it is merely implementing Tory policy.” CRÍOCH

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