Welfare Reform U-Turn ?

13 03 2015
Justin McNultySDLP Newry and Armagh Representative Justin McNulty has called on Sinn Féin welfare spokesperson Mickey Brady to explain his U-Turn on the Welfare Reform Bill after months of opposing the SDLP stance against cuts to the vulnerable.

He said:

“Mickey Brady owes people an explanation. He needs to explain why, after months of supporting the worst excesses of Tory austerity in the Welfare Reform Bill, including his vocal support for introducing the Bedroom Tax in legislation, he and his party have decided to backtrack.

“The SDLP has publically and vocally stood against this bill. We have submitted scores of amendments in an attempt to salvage the legislation and protect the most vulnerable. That included petitions of concern that Sinn Féin refused to sign. It also included an attempt to guarantee a statutory right to free, independent advice for benefit claimants, something that Mickey Brady, himself a former benefit centre worker, voted against.

“I’m glad that he and his colleagues have woken up and realised the devastating impact this bill will have on struggling families, the sick and the disabled. I’m glad that they have joined the SDLP in opposition to these savage attacks on the vulnerable. But he must now account for what he has said and done which allowed these proposals to get to this stage.

“People are sick of the spin, sick of the double speak and sick of the U-Turns. Either you stand up for the vulnerable or you don’t. Mr Brady needs to decide whether he will stand with us against the Tories or stand with them against the people of his constituency.”

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