Maskey urges united opposition to welfare cuts
Political unity rather than point-scoring is needed in the face of Tory cuts to the welfare system, Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has said.
The party’s welfare spokesperson was commenting in the wake of the latest problems surrounding the introduction of Universal Credit.
“Sinn Féin is opposed to the Tory welfare cuts agenda which is the primary driver of ongoing changes to the benefits system," Alex Maskey said.
“The Universal Credit system is not fit for purpose. The Tory driven policy and the online system which underpins it is riddled with faults, complications and delays.
“It is a policy that was supposedly designed to simplify the benefits system but in reality, has caused more hardship for people and increased poverty.
“Thus, Sinn Féin has repeatedly called for the roll out of Universal Credit system to be halted.
“While others may seek to point score on this matter it is important to remember the vicious manner in which the Tory Government sought to impose welfare cuts here. They stripped tens of millions out of the Block Grant for public services in 'fines' for not implementing so-called welfare reform.
"They made it abundantly clear that they would not deviate from this approach and threatened to unilaterally impose their cuts agenda.
“Despite this, and the opposition of other parties, Sinn Féin negotiated and secured a mitigation package of £500million in order to protect the most vulnerable in society.
“What is needed is a unified front to challenge the Tory government’s austerity agenda.”