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19/09/2021

Eastwood: Tory social care plan "an attack on Derry's young people"

Eastwood: Tory social care plan "an attack on Derry's young people"

SDLP leader and Foyle MP, Colum Eastwood, voted against the increase to National Insurance contributions in the House of Commons last night

Foyle MP, Colum Eastwood, launched a scathing attack on the UK Government, after a vote to raise National Insurance contributions was passed in the House of Commons last night.

The SDLP leader, along with his colleague Claire Hanna, voted against the planned rise but the vote was won comfortably by the Conservative Government – 319 votes to 248 – as rumours of a Tory rebellion petered out with only five of their MPs voting against it.

Londonderry East MP, Gregory Campbell, was one of three DUP MPs to abstain with the other five joining Mr Eastwood in voting against it.

Those in Derry who earn £20,000 a year will see an increase of £130 to their National Insurance contributions while those earning £30,000 will see a hike of £255.

Eastwood slammed the proposal saying that the UK Government's social care plan is an attack on Derry's young people and working families.

He added that the vote – which covers social care in England only – will disproportionately hurt young people and working families in Northern Ireland who have already suffered because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Eastwood said: “The Tory party has shown that not only are they willing to attack our devolution, but they are also content on heaping financial pressure on our young people and working families to help pay for health and social care in England.

“We have again witnessed that this Tory government is willing to mass the burden of this recovery on those most in need. In February, the number of people in Derry on Universal Credit sat at 6,960.

“Those in or in search of work will be saddled with this burden and, to add insult to injury, lose around £1,000 a year after the Tory cut in the uplift. This is unjust.

“The SDLP voted against these proposals last night and will always support those in need to create a more fair and equitable society.”

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