‘Delay on welfare costing us dearly’ – Irwin

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
Newry & Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin has reiterated the calls by the DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP for the Government to intervene and legislate for welfare reform in Northern Ireland.
DUP MLA William Irwin

DUP MLA William Irwin

A DUP delegation is meeting the Secretary of State this week and prior to the meeting Irwin stated, “Each day that passes without agreement on Welfare Reform costs £312,000 and over a month that amount is £9.5million – a staggering loss to our devolved administration. “In light of this it is clear the time has come for the Government to implement welfare reform, which was supported by a majority of Assembly members last week. “The message I am getting in this constituency is that rather than paying out millions in penalties to Westminster, people would rather see this money spent on public services in Northern Ireland,” he insisted. “In one month £9.5m could provide 660,000 hours of domiciliary care. Or 1836 hip operations. Or 2130 knee operations. Or 264,000 face to face GP consultations. “We cannot allow the decimation of our public services that would be the result of the continuing Sinn Fein and SDLP intransigence. A £600m hole in the budget is untenable and Sinn Fein and the SDLP must quickly come to their sense and start dealing with this stark reality.” Irwin added, “The DUP under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson MLA, will meet the Secretary of State where we will be making very clear our position: the Stormont House Agreement must be implemented. “The failure of Sinn Fein and the SDLP to allow the welfare bill to progress means that the Government must introduce it at Westminster. It is the only option left on the table and the Secretary of State must act.”
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