The Northern Assembly today started to debate a new Welfare reform bill that will introduce Tory welfare cuts to Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin has stated its support for the bill which to date includes sweeping cuts to social welfare supports in Northern Ireland with no alleviating measures. They have not put forward any amendments to the bill.
Commenting on the debate in the assembly Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins said, “Today’s bill shows up the sheer hypocrisy of Sinn Fein on both sides of the border. The cuts to welfare in Northern Ireland flies in the face of what they have been calling for in the Republic. They haven’t even put forward amendments to the welfare bill before the assembly. Estimates range from £130m to £290m per annum being cut from the welfare support in Northern Ireland. The proposed £70m in alleviating funds has yet to be agreed. These cuts range from disability allowance to housing benefit. At the same time as slashing disability allowance and housing supports in Northern Ireland Sinn Féin are calling for additional spending and further homes in the republic. They are talking out of both sides of their mouth depending on what side of the border they are on”.
Deputy Collins added, “This hypocrisy has been clear for years. For example in Strabane the Sinn Féin controlled council has increased property tax over the past few years. On the other side of the bridge they are vehemently opposing any property tax. Today’s bill just further highlights their sheer brass neck.”