‘Programme for Government fails to deliver’ – Ritchie
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has said the Coalition Government’s Programme For Government fails to adequately deal with the problems faced by many hard-pressed families throughout the North of Ireland. Ms Ritchie was speaking following the Queen’s speech last Wednesday in which the Government set out the legislation it intends to bring forward in the coming parliamentary session.
Speaking to Newry Times, Ritchie said: “This legislative programme follows on directly from the budget with the priorities of the millionaires again put above the interest of the millions. We are experiencing a double-dip recession and the government has given tax cuts to the rich with one hand, while punishing hardworking families with the other.”
“We cannot underestimate the corrosive effect for a society in which the richest 1,000 individual’s wealth amounts to more than a third of GDP – a sum of £414bn. The SDLP has always stood up against social inequality and we will stand up against this economic inequality that is accelerating under this Conservative government. As hard working families across Northern Ireland face up to record fuel prices and home heating costs they may well ask where this Government’s priorities lie.”
She continued, “One might ask where was the legislation to lower fuel prices, to restrict excessive executive level pay, to promote growth and to tackle the youth unemployment which blights our society. There are aspects of the Programme For Government which are welcome, such as the establishment of a Green Investment Bank and the introduction of a Supermarket Adjudicator, but it is crucial that we scrutinise the details of this legislation to ensure they are not merely token gestures.”
“If the government continue down the path they have taken thus far, they will lead us only to recession not recovery. This is a government that cares more about what is happening on Fleet Street in London than what is happening on the High Street in Northern Ireland,” Ritchie added.
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