A Magherafelt Ulster Unionist, Councillor George Shiels has accused Sinn Fein of hastening the early disintegration of the Health Service.
Speaking to the Mail he said, “The stubbornness of Sinn Fein in vetoing the implementation of the Welfare Benefits cuts, handed down by the government at Westminster, is having the effect of causing hardship and a threat to the lives of patients, because the funds are simply not filtering down to keep an already wonky Health Service ticking over.”
He continued, “Sinn Fein sees itself as champion of those on welfare
benefits, but the effect of its veto on benefits cuts means more and more pressure on frontline services. The effect in essence is the hastening of the disintegration of the Health Service. Sinn Fein is causing the very disadvantage that it claims to oppose.”
Cllr Shiels concluded, “The government at Westminster is not going to back down on this issue, there is no cruse of oil, there will be no manna from heaven, so the respective Ministers within the Executive at Stormont have difficult decisions to make, whether it is Regional Development, Social Development or Health. However the effects of tightening budgets on health can be catastrophic. In essence lives will undoubtedly be lost, in my opinion. If the leadership of Sinn Fein thought digging their heels in on Welfare Benefits cuts would be popular with the electorate, they should think again. There will be an enormous downside to their ill-considered reactionary politics in this
case. Lives will, I believe be lost.”