Cllr Shaun Harkin: "All the big parties are playing up their concern now about the cost of living crisis. But they ignored the Hardship Emergency protest at Stormont."
People Before Profit Councillor, Shaun Harkin, has blasted the DUP over their “complete disregard for people facing hardship during a cost of living crisis”.
Cllr Harkin, who represents the Foyleside ward and is will be standing in this May's Northern Ireland Assembly election, hit out following the courts suspending DUP Minister, Edwin Poots' attempts to stop border checks at ports in line with the NI Protocol.
Paul Givan of the DUP also resigned his position as joint First Minister with the Executive Government seemingly hanging by a thread in the face of a possible return to direct rule from Westminster.
Cllr Harkin accused the DUP of “self-centred and reckless opportunism” and also pointed the finger at Sinn Féin and the SDLP for claiming to care for those under poverty having previously rejected a People Before Profit recall motion for a Hardship Emergency fund.
He said: “The DUP's attempt to cause political chaos over the Protocol underscores their complete disregard for people facing hardship amidst a cost of living crisis.
“Their self-centred and reckless opportunism has put a spotlight on the entire Executive's failure to act on astronomical energy prices and the spiralling cost of living crisis.
“The DUP, Sinn Féin and the SDLP refused to support an Assembly recall motion backed by People Before Profit and others to declare a Hardship Emergency and prioritise putting in place adequate financial protections.
“All the big parties are playing up their concern now about the cost of living crisis. But they ignored the Hardship Emergency protest at Stormont and dismissed it as a stunt.
“The Executive demonstrated the same complete disregard when the Tories slashed Universal Credit payments. The entire Executive has backed Tory pay cuts for health and social care workers.
“The Executive hasn't lifted a finger to back the campaign for Westminster to implement a new, radical Wealth Tax on billionaires and corporations to fund vital services.
“The treatment of workers and the least well-off contrasts with how the Executive has prioritised handouts to elites and the politically connected throughout the last two years.
“Workers stayed on the job and put themselves at great risk, but Stormont dismissed their demands for better treatment and respect just as much as Boris Johnson.
“Despite the words of concern now from the Unionist and Nationalist establishment, it's been one set of rules for elites and another for everyone else. The Executive has acted no differently from the Tories.
“No one should expect the Executive to change its modus operandi even in this crisis initiated by the DUP. None of their promises can be trusted.
“There should be no excuses about putting funding in place to protect those – the workers, the vulnerable, community organisations and small businesses – who are being hammered by rising costs and pay cuts.”
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