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Sammy Wilson has lost touch with working class people

22 March, 2013 - by Chris Hazzard

 Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has slammed Finance Minister Sammy Wilson after he branded a  £250 payment to low paid education workers a disgrace.

 During Assembly questions, Minister Wilson called the decision by Education Minister John O'Dowd to grant a payment of £250 to staff earning less than £21,000, a 'disgraceful populist exercise'.

 Mr. Hazzard said,

 “The only disgrace here is Sammy Wilson's attitude to low-paid workers. With the present economic climate of austerity and pay freezes the gesture by the Education Minister to grant a one of payment of £250 to the lowest paid staff was a practical step in fending of poverty for many people.

 “For a Finance Minister to describe it as a 'disgraceful populist' decision is quite bizarre given the fact many of these people have seen their income drop in real terms as inflation continues to grow at a higher rate than any pay increases.

“As was shown with the recent flag protests the DUP have totally lost touch with the working class communities who are struggling to make ends meet.

 “The people in receipt of these monies were grateful that they have a Minister who lives off an average industrial wage and understands the plight they find themselves in as opposed to the huge sums that Sammy Wilson receives as Minister and MP.

 “Maybe if Sammy came down from his ivory tower once in a while he would see the devastation being caused by the recession and his inability to embrace ideas to help move the North out of recession.”

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