FM 'crossed the line' on welfare reform

Published Friday, 04 April 2014
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Martin McGuinness has accused Peter Robinson of "crossing the line" by saying the First and deputy First Ministers had agreed a deal on welfare reform.

FM 'crossed the line' on welfare reform
The political leaders gave their views on the welfare reform situation. (© PA)

It comes after DUP leader Mr Robinson claimed agreements were reached but that Mr McGuinness was unable to sell it to senior Sinn Féin members in the Dáil.

The deputy First Minister has disputed the First Minister's version of events.

Mr McGuinness said: "I raised the issue of welfare cuts once at 10 Downing Street with the British Prime Minister and twice with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the Cabinet Office.

"Peter Robinson never offered one word of support for a rethink on welfare cuts and the only support I received was from my Scottish colleagues.

"The only way to resolve these issues is by mature leadership, sitting down with Executive colleagues and finding a resolution rather than grandstanding on the media and presuming to speak for me."

Mr Robinson, speaking to the BBC, had said: "We are elected to do a job, we took on that responsibility, that responsibility goes beyond being able to open nice new buildings and hearing the applause from the people for the benefits that might be derived from that.

"I know the slowdown that is taking place in terms of getting decisions taken because the decisions that we might take might cause difficulties for Gerry Adams and his colleagues in the Dáil."

Both Sinn Féin and the DUP have been at loggerheads over the controversial Welfare Reform Bill.

The London Treasury has warned that if the controversial bill is not adopted by Stormont, penalties will be imposed amounting to millions of pounds.

The DUP argue that failure to implement the bill will have a devastating effect on the economy while Sinn Féin say it will hurt the most vulnerable in society.

Earlier this week Finance Minister Simon Hamilton warned that budgets will be cut with the under-strain health department losing around £70m.

Sinn Féin described the predictions and warnings as "scare tactics".

© UTV News
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6 Comments
judging politicians in Ulster wrote (118 days ago):
I think they both have valid points but I can't help but think their just playing chess with the ordinary people.It should also be asked of the London treasury, that if it wasn't for it's almost dictatorial stance and threatening financial penalties or more accurately sanctions that would effect only the ordinary and most vulnerable people would this be easier sorted out as it would remove us as the pawns from the game.
Sam in Ulster wrote (118 days ago):
SF have no desire to see Northern Ireland prosper.
Shankill in Shankill wrote (119 days ago):
Here we go irish or british its out the window for both side's living here in the north a blind man could see this coming. The dup only seen happy to be standing with there hand out at every chance they get. While S.F are pushing for a united ireland. So heres the story the dup dont care about the working class people no matter where your or who you are while SF are happy to see the country go bust where the uk will see us as a failed country that they will be better with out. So given these two choices of who do we take a chance with. Im from the shankill rd and i think the dup are finished i would rather see the working class people being looked after than them having to suffer even more than they are already. Yes that may mean SF running are we country. But i would rather have my home and food on my table than to let the dup stick there head in the sand ontill the pul can get a party going that is willing to fight for all people then we have got big big problems. Sorry to say dup but at this time you have lost my vote.
gerard in belfast wrote (119 days ago):
could some 1 tell me when has peter robinson ever show real leadership when the hass talks were going on he had to have the orange order there as well as the uvf then they went out to see if willy r jamie would agree to it they had said no so it was no were is that leadership when all the carp was going on in the summer and when the flags carp was going on not a word for weeks from him cause it was the PUL who were doing it then hold and behold this week the dup r asking for all the unionist to join together and work a deal were is that leadership no peter i would say u dont have the tools to go it alone cause the dup will lose votes u also have showed u dont have real leadership with you i have to say in all honest you r not a leader from you took over the dup u have never show real leadership forster has showed more leadership then u have grow up and get the rest off ur party to do the same and work for the people of n.ireland
sharlene in ballyclare wrote (119 days ago):
Dry your eyes maguinness this is just to take the spotlight of gerry adams and his little phone call concerning two republicans.
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BRIAN ROWAN
The pictures from Stormont this week showed us how politics here still walks in and out of step.
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