DUP MLA Keith Buchanan has said he recognises and shares the frustration of his constituents who believe that ‘we deserve better’.
The Mid Ulster politician stressed in a statement that we all deserve better.
“I care deeply about Northern Ireland. I too see the negative effects that no government is having on our health service, our education system and our economy,” he said.
“I entered politics back in 2016 to make a difference to people’s lives which I do daily. Some people sit behind a screen, tablet or phone and type on social media outlets, I put my name forward to walk the walk, not talk the talk.
“My personal disappointment is that others do not see or want to see the damage they are doing to Northern Ireland. As a whole the people that want to move forward are being prevented by those who in the past caused death and destruction to this country; some cannot see or indeed accept this fact.”
Mr Buchanan said Northern Ireland deserves a functioning devolved government and his party were prepared to establish an Executive immoderately after the election in March 2017.
“We would have entered that Assembly with nothing but our mandate,” he continued. “We had no preconditions, nor no red lines. Sinn Fein’s boycott of the Assembly and Executive must end. It is hurting every walk of life. Every other main party is prepared to establish the Executive and deal with difficult issues in tandem.”
Mr Buchanan pointed out the work of an MLA continues through their constituency offices.
“Throughout this period of time without a government, I along with my colleagues meet regularly with a range of different groups,” he said.
“It is important to listen to their concerns and engage with them about the issues facing schools, roads and hospitals - the decisions that are mounting up on the desks of civil servants.
“Whilst that work continues we were always very clear on the issue of pay. It was not sustainable to maintain current pay arrangements if there is no prospect of devolution returning. Similarly, it is not sustainable for Sinn Fein MPs to receive allowances from Westminster when they do not carry out the full duties expected of an MP.”
He added: “The DUP was willing to be in an Executive yesterday, is willing to be in an Executive today and will be willing to be in an Executive tomorrow.
“It is time for Sinn Fein to end its boycott of the Assembly.”