Welfare cuts a return to ‘Victorian workhouse’ times

BARRY Monteith, Republican Councillor for Dungannon Town, has highlighted the “devastation” that the changes to the Welfare System sanctioned at Stormont recently have caused.

The Dungannon councillor also pointed to further cuts to come which, he said, will cause more misery to many people locally.

Cllr Monteith said:

“Last week was a low point in politics delivering for ordinary people. We had Stormont passing the British cuts to the welfare system and in Britain we had the Tory Party declaring their next batch of cuts which affect ordinary working people.

“These cuts will affect young people, working families, the sick, the disabled and carer’s. Make no mistake the British Government has declared war on people on low-income. Working class people are being forced, by the political and financial elites in Ireland and Britain, to pay for the extravagances and problems caused by the political and financial elites.”

Cllr Monteith warned the cuts would dismantle the “safety net” for the most vulnerable people in society.

“The current British Government is ideologically opposed to this support for young families, for people on middle to low wage levels, for the elderly, for carer’s and for the disabled. Credit to those who opposed these cuts, however, surely this is further evidence that Stormont is a toothless tiger when it comes to delivering on these issues.

“Issues don’t come much more ‘bread and butter’ than this and the decisions in London and Stormont have failed those on low-income miserably. These decisions are made by people who will not feel the pain of the cuts they pass as they are part of the political and financial elite.

“None of these people will struggle to find money to feed their family, to pay the mortgage, pay the rent or heat their home.

“This is the reality of British Rule in Ireland. A result of this is that Ireland is once again blighted by the emigration of our young people, pensioners are in greater financial difficulty and work is more and more scarce.

“Decisions will be made in London and no matter what anyone here says these decisions will be implemented. This is a return to Victorian workhouse attitudes that will stoke up financial hardship, relationship strain and stigma for people on low-income.”