No agreement on welfare cuts - SF

Published Thursday, 24 July 2014
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Sinn Féin has said an agreement on welfare reform and the June Monitoring Round - needed to approve finance for government projects - has yet to be made and they are working toward brokering a deal with the DUP.

The party was forced into making a statement following reports an agreement had been made on the crucial document and on Westminster-imposed welfare reform, something Sinn Féinstrenuously opposed.

The Westminster Treasury is enforcing financial penalties of £87m on the Executive because of the failure to agree a deal on welfare reform.

And last week, First Minister Peter Robinson sparked outrage after he suggested the Historical Abuse Inquiry was at risk over failure to agree the monitoring round.

However, the money was later found for the large-scale investigation into abuse at Catholic Church and state-run institutions.

On Wednesday, reports surfaced that an agreement has been reached between the two main parties and the Executive would rubber-stamp the deal next week.

However, Sinn Féin has angrily rejected the suggestion.

In a statement the party said: "Reports on the BBC that agreement has been reached on the June monitoring rounds are entirely incorrect.

"Other significant inaccuracies in the reports include the claim that welfare cuts have been agreed.

"Sinn Féin has consistently said that Tory-imposed cuts are a political issue for the Executive, separate from June monitoring.

"This remains our position.

"On this basis progress has been made and we are continuing to work towards an agreed paper on June monitoring.

"These discussions have not yet reached a conclusion."

UTV understands the Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has set out £100m in cuts needed to balance the books because of the Treasury fines.

The DUP minister is set to present that document to the Executive next Tuesday, however, Sinn Féin sources have said a meeting will not take place until an agreement is reached.

© UTV News
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23 Comments
lucylou in belfast wrote (84 days ago):
SF are fighting on behalf of all those who voted them into power. What's wrong with that?
Michael in Templepatrick wrote (88 days ago):
People here seem to think that those on benefits have a great life and "everything handed to them" which is very clearly untrue. They have little or no money after bills, second rate cheap housing and their children never get a holiday. Stop moaning about having to work.
John in crumlin wrote (89 days ago):
I think the people who have been claiming jobseekers long-term should be made to work in the community for their money, so if they receive say 120 benefit they should be made to do at least 15 hours community work like clean graffiti cut grass pick up litter etc. for £8.00 an hour I would do it myself. it's a win win situation they earn some self respect and motivation to work and the whole community benefits
Pete in Belfast wrote (90 days ago):
Conorirving what utter twaddle. "if every rich person paid their taxs honestly and above board their would be no need for cuts." What about the thousands of people capable of working who don't bother and who sit on their backsides getting everything handed to them by hard working people already taxed to the hilt, who have to struggle to pay their mortgage when others have a house handed to them and their bills paid? Anyone capable of working should be made to work. Its the ones who don't bother who have created this situation. If they worked and supported themselves then there would be a lot more money to give to people in genuine need. If you want to start having a go, have a go at people who choose the dole as a career option - parasites who suck the lifes blood out of society and who take the money which should go to the poor, the needy and the sick.
John in Belfast wrote (90 days ago):
Why should NI people be treated different to the rest of the UK and as a result NI will suffer financial penalties, money that could have been used on upgrading roads etc - We are lucky to have a health and benefit system for those in need.
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