Murphy sets out Sinn Féin dossier on welfare
- Welfare - The Facts (766 KB)
Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has said documents released today by Sinn Féin clearly show the DUP acted in bad faith over the Welfare Reform Bill.
Launching a dossier of exchanges between Sinn Féin and the DUP over the bill at Stormont today, Mr Murphy said;
"This dossier sets out the documentation which informed the welfare agreement on December 19. At all times Sinn Féin was absolutely clear, privately and publicly, that the agreement was to provide full protection for current and future claimants of benefits under the control of the Executive. These documents illustrate that this is the case.
"This was confirmed by DUP minister Mervyn Storey in the Assembly when he said no one would be adversely affected by the changes.
"The protection of existing and future claimants was the basis on which Sinn Féin endorsed the Welfare Bill.
"However, three weeks ago the DUP then attempted to roll back from the commitments made in the Stormont House Agreement by attempting to limit protections to existing claimants only.
"This is a clear example of DUP bad faith as these documents plainly demonstrate.
“We stressed that any movement away from full protection for current and new claimants would not be agreed by Sinn Féin.
"The dossier also shows that key documents were withheld from Sinn Féin during the negotiations.
"Despite a series of meetings between Sinn Féin and the DUP to resolve the issue, they continued to act in bad faith.
"We were committed to finding a solution but despite repeated attempts to arrange a meeting between Sinn Féin and the DUP from March 6, the DUP did not make themselves available and in fact failed to turn up.
"In face of these blatant displays of bad faith and in order to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable Sinn Féin submitted a Petition of Concern and the Bill had been withdrawn."
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