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Ní Chuilín slams ‘disingenuous and disgraceful’ SDLP over welfare comments

25 June, 2018 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

The SDLP are providing cover for the British Treasury by blaming an Irish Language Act for the failure of a key welfare mitigation scheme to go live, Sinn Féin MLA Caral Ní Chuilín has said.

She was commenting after the SDLP’s Nichola Mallon blamed the DUP and Sinn Féin for the fact that a £35 million scheme to assist low-income households has not yet been implemented. The North Belfast MLA called on the two parties to ‘sort out their differences over an Irish Language Act’ in order to allow the money to be paid.

Caral Ní Chuilín commented: “It’s quite ironic for the SDLP to be lamenting the failure to release all of the £585 million welfare mitigation package when they opposed the budget that paid for it. Had it been left to the SDLP, there wouldn’t have been a single penny to mitigate against the worst impacts of the British Government’s welfare cuts agenda.

“It is also quite outrageous that Nichola Mallon would prefer to score cheap political points rather than confronting the real cause of this difficulty, the British Treasury.

“The SDLP know full well that the problem with the Cost of Work Element of Universal Credit stems from the British Treasury’s insistence on treating this support as taxable income. The Department of Communities has confirmed this is the problem and unless the Treasury relents, this means the majority of the money will go to the taxman, rather than those who need it.

“So for Nichola Mallon to claim this is due to ‘differences over an Irish Language Act’ is disingenuous and quite disgraceful.

“Her comments do a huge disservice to the families who need this support and to those who are rightly entitled for language rights to be implemented on the same basis as they are everywhere else on these islands.” 

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