No Concern: No real opposition to Welfare Cuts – Guthanna

November 6, 2012

Republican discussion group, Guthanna, has issued a statement on the Welfare Reform Bill, which was recently passed by the Assembly.

Describing the Welfare Reform Bill as “the worst blow to the welfare state since its inception after the Second World War”, the group criticised the Stormont Assembly for passing the controversial bill which aims to cut hundreds of millions off the benefits paid to the sick, the unemployed and the disabled.

A Guthanna spokesperson said,

“The most notable thing about the Bill being passed is the lack of any real opposition by any of the parties in the Assembly.

“The DUP and the UUP voted in favour of the bill on the basis that if it wasn’t passed there would be £200 million lost from the budget for other public services like health, education and policing. In other words; take what you are getting, or we will take it off you.

“Sinn Féin and the SDLP spoke against the Bill and voted against it. However, Sinn Féin didn’t take action to block it. The SDLP proposed a Petition of Concern but hadn’t sufficient numbers on their own to bring the petition to bear.

“Sinn Féin and the SDLP could have submitted a Petition of Concern on the Bill. This would have meant that they would have needed cross-community support for it to be passed. Sinn Féin and SDLP voted against it in the knowledge that the unionist parties could pass the Bill anyway.

“The electorate should note that, amongst the Stormont parties, there wasn’t any real opposition to the Welfare cuts, which will be devastating for the poor, the disabled, the sick and the unemployed.”