December 21, 2023
O’Neill urges Heaton-Harris to immediately award pay rise to public sector workers

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has urged the British Secretary of State to immediately award a pay rise to public sector workers.

In a letter to Chris Heaton-Harris, she said it was unacceptable that workers were being denied the uplift they are entitled to because of DUP blockade of the Executive.

Michelle O’Neill said:

“I have written to the British Secretary of State urging him to immediately award our public sector workers a pay rise.

“A major consequence of underfunding and the absence of an Executive is that public sector workers, including nurses and teachers, have not been offered a pay rise.

“This is unacceptable at any time, but particularly so during a cost-of-living crisis. Workers should not be the victims of the DUP’s blockade of the Assembly.”

Addressing the need for a Fiscal Floor, Michelle O’Neill added:

“We need a properly funded Executive to set our own budget and begin to fix the health service, deliver on education and housing, create jobs and support businesses.

“Appropriate funding is fundamental to an Executive’s financial sustainability and ensuring the block grant does not fall below need.

“It is critical that a restored Executive can function properly and does not enter a financial crisis from the outset.

“The purpose of funding to stabilise public services is they have suffered from underfunding and the absence of a Budget due to the DUP blockade.”

The First Minister Designate said the public should not be forced to pay for more than a decade of Tory cuts.

Michelle O’ Neill said:

“Households and businesses should not be forced to pay more for more than a decade of Tory underfunding of public services.

“Proper funding for an Executive based on need for 2022/23 would cover the Executive’s overspend for this year and last.

“No conditions should be attached to dealing with the overspend. Households and businesses should not be forced to pay more.

“We should instead be discussing the devolution of tax powers as part of discussions on a new Fiscal Framework.”O’Neill urges Heaton-Harris to immediately award pay rise to public sector workers

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