Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy said today the Tory government is punishing ordinary workers and families for the political neglect and irresponsibility of one party.
Conor Murphy was speaking after British Secretary of State Chris Heaton Harris announced a consultation on a wide range of punishing charges on workers and families.
Conor Murphy said:
“In the absence of an Executive as a result of one party’s refusal to respect the democratic outcome of the 2022 Assembly elections the British Tory Secretary of State set a budget with savage cuts to our public services.
“These cuts by the British government have also denied fair pay rises to local workers in health, education and other frontline public services.
“Those workers have been forced to go out once again on picket lines to demand their rights by a Tory minister whose party has no mandate here, not even a single elected councillor.
“Now Chris Heaton Harris is consulting on further punitive charges on workers and families.
“These include water charges, increased student fees, prescription charges and other domestic charges which will increase the pressure on ordinary people struggling with the cost of living crisis.
“In the past the Executive has been able to protect people from Tory policies despite more than a decade of Tory cuts to public services. That was and is the right thing to do.
“We need an end to the DUP’s blockade of the political institutions, which has left us at the mercy of these Tory cuts.
“”Workers can’t wait, people on waiting lists can’t wait and families struggling to put food on the table can’t wait. Everyone has been more than reasonable in giving space and time, but there are clear limits and public patience is rightly wearing thin.
“We need a restored Executive with all parties working together to get the investment needed to properly fund our public services over a three-year period.