Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said action must be taken to tackle the cost-of-living crisis which is placing a huge burden on workers, families and businesses.
Speaking at a Sinn Féin fringe meeting at the British Labour Party conference this evening, the South Down MP said:
“The heavy squeeze on household and business budgets with the rising cost of living and rising fuel and energy costs is having a severe impact on ordinary workers and families.
“It is inconceivable that in a time of crisis around cost of living that there is no Executive.
“With interest rates beginning to rise sharply the cost of borrowing for households and businesses is rising too, so we need an anti-inflation intervention which helps mitigate the impact of these pressures, not a continued boycott of government by the DUP.
“The public are being punished and the household and business supports which must be delivered to cushion the huge burden being placed on society in the weeks and months ahead are being held up.
“Westminster politics and the deliberately cynical approach of the Tories towards the Brexit Protocol at the behest of the ERG and DUP has had a deeply negative and corrosive effect on the political stability of the north.
“The Tories have no mandate on this island. However, a majority of those MLAs recently elected do and there is a majority in the Assembly who support the Protocol because it is working, giving us continued access to the European single market, creating jobs and economic benefits. There simply is no credible alternative to the Protocol.
“The Good Friday Agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by the people across the island of Ireland.
“And it is utterly contemptible that after more than two decades of progress that as we reach 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement itself, the governance arrangements are in freefall because unionism cannot accept the democratic outcome of the election; a Sinn Féin First Minister and the fact that irreversible political change is underway which requires leaders of courage to shape and take ownership of the future – a shared future for everyone.”