Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy and finance minister in the northern Executive said tonight that he is hugely disappointed at comments by the SDLP minister and party colleagues on Universal Credit.
Boris Johnson’s Tory government recently took away a £20 uplift from thousands of families on Universal Credit in a move which Conor Murphy said was “shameful”.
Conor Murphy said:
“At the Executive meeting last Thursday I set out allocations for the October Monitoring Round.
“This included £200m for Health in line with the Executive’s priorities. No alternative allocation was proposed.
“I also offered the option of a pro rata reduction from Departments other than Health in order to fund the Universal Credit uplift this year and in the longer-term.
“The SDLP Minister did not express any support for this option.
“Following the Executive’s discussion I asked for the allocations to be cleared through urgent procedure, which is cleared by the First Ministers on behalf of the Executive.
“No MInister objected to this.
“I’m disappointed that the SDLP’s public position on this issue is clearly at odds with their private position.
“This smacks of an effort to speak out of both sides of their mouth.
“This is cynical electioneering with no regard for the people on Universal Credit whose £20 uplift was shamefully snatched from them by the British Tories.”