‘Failure to agree welfare reform bill will hit Mid Ulster area’

TUV's Walter Millar
TUV's Walter Millar

The failure of the DUP Sinn/Fein coalition Government at Stormont to pass or get agreement on the Welfare Bill will through time have serious financial implications to those living in Mid Ulster, the TUV have said.

Mr Millar, the party chairmain in Mid Ulster said the impact will be felt through the various Government Departments such as Health and Education.

He continued by saying “that the blame game between the DUP and Sinn/Fein over the Welfare Bill was creating an unnecessary deadlock at Stormont while the rest of the United Kingdom had accepted these welfare reforms as a necessary part of controlling spending and bringing down the National Debt.

“Those in Sinn/Fein who were preventing this bill being passed were not prepared to accept the hard reality of being in Government and that tough decisions needed to be taken to control spending as Northern Ireland at present was receiving a higher budget per head of population than any other region of the United Kingdom,” he said.

Mr Millar concluded by saying that the financial penalties which will and are being imposed for not accepting this Welfare Reform Bill will have serious consequences’ as all the Government Departments at Stormont would see their budgets cut and everyone including those living in Mid Ulster would suffer as a result of this.

Last week, relations between Stormont’s top two soured further after the First Minister accused Martin McGuinness of failing to sell an agreed package to his Sinn Fein party in May of last year.

The Deputy First Minister, hit back accusing Mr Robinson of “crossing the line”.

Mr Robinson had said: “After a long period of negotiation – we agreed a package with Sinn Fein at OFMDFM level...

“I think it was about May 8 last year; Sinn Fein held their meeting of party colleagues in what they hoped would be an endorsement of that negotiated package.

“I was called in on a Saturday afternoon by Martin who had come down to tell me that he had been unable to get the package through their party organisation.”