March 23, 2023
O’Neill tells British government ‘serious investment required for sustainable public services’

First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill told the British government that a serious investment is needed to put the Executive’s finances on a stable footing and deliver public services.

Michelle O’Neill was speaking after she and Uachtarán Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald met with British Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris at Hillsborough Castle today. She said: 

“An incoming Executive faces a mountain of challenges.  

“Our society has been left at the mercy of a savage and unadulterated Tory Budget as a result of the DUP blockade of the Executive with no local ministers at the wheel to take spending decisions to protect our people and businesses from the worst impacts. 

“The health service is in crisis. Waiting lists are unacceptable, cancer patients and those waiting on surgery are paying the price for this. We need investment in staff, we need more doctors and nurses, and transformation requires resources. 

“Instead, half a billion pounds has been stripped from our public services by the Tories, threatening crippling cuts to youth services, mental health programmes and special needs education with vital community services axed and jobs lost in some of our most disadvantaged areas. 

“That approach to public finances needs to stop. 

“The British Government must deliver serious investment to put the Executive finances on a stable footing and all local parties should get back around the Executive table to work together for all our people.

“We must ensure the Executive has the resources needed to deliver on health and support for workers and families but also to take the economic opportunities on offer at this historic moment to create jobs and deliver for all.”

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