Mark H Durkan: "I find it absolutely abhorrent that the DUP see fit to play fast and loose with people’s lives. Putting political posturing ahead of people, is unforgivable."
Mark H Durkan of the SDLP has slammed the intransigence of the DUP which has prevented a return to the Executive to put measures in place to cushion people from the rising cost of food, fuel and energy bills.
The newly-elected Foyle MLA said it is unforgivable that a unilateral decision has left Stormont powerless to help thousands of struggling individuals and families.
Mr Durkan accused the DUP of “playing fast and loose with people's lives” while sitting with their hands in their pockets while families struggle to put food on the table.
He said: “Our communities are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic and have been thrown from one crisis straight into another.
“I’ve seen first-hand through my constituency work the impact soaring costs of fuel, food and everyday living, is having on people.
“On a daily basis I hear stories from individuals barely scraping by. Wages have remained stagnant while just about everything has increased in price, people are not coping.
“The majority of people in the North are already living pay cheque to pay cheque. It is disgraceful that in 2022 people are being forced to count the pennies, seek assistance at food banks and go without meals or heat in their homes.
“Yet the DUP sit hands in pockets as families look towards the summer filled with anxiety without free school payments and as pensioners make difficult decisions on how to stretch their meagre benefit entitlements.
“The most vulnerable in our society are left without a financial safety net in the face of the highest inflation increase in over forty years.
“I find it absolutely abhorrent that the DUP see fit to play fast and loose with people’s lives. Putting political posturing ahead of people, is unforgivable.
“The second biggest party here has abandoned their responsibility and seemingly all sense of reason as people suffer.
“Addressing the cost of living emergency is the number one priority for the SDLP.
“We remain committed to introducing emergency legislation to unlock £300 million sitting at Stormont and get money into pockets of those in desperate need. MLAs have been elected by the people, to represent and deliver with their best interests at heart.
“It’s about time that reality dawned on the DUP.”
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