In the face of the worst cost of living crisis in decades the dysfunctional Executive has failed, yet again. With families, the vulnerable and the elderly particularly affected, the main political parties have, yet again, put their own interests ahead of the community.
Where is the political response to this crisis? Where is the outrage and the indignation against the poverty, the deprivation and the misery that is being inflicted on working class people?
Not one MLA, not one, will face the dilemma of heating or eating this week. Not one will be unable to pay household bills and not one will be left with empty pockets. Not one.
All five Executive parties bear responsibility and the DUP and Sinn Fein in particular have both walked away from their obligations in pursuit of a strategy of political brinkmanship with their opponents, in recent times
This deliberately dysfunctional Executive oversees a rotten and corrupt capitalist system that lets the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. When the inevitable crisis strikes, they walk away, they blame someone else, they pass the decisions on to others. What they don’t do is to step up and take action in defence of working-class people.
For as long as we accept this brutal social and economic system working class people will always be at the bottom of the pile.
People’s problems exist today, here and now and they must be given immediate help and support. The Workers Party supports the following measures designed to start addressing the worst effects of the rising cost of living
- An immediate Increase in Universal Credit payments of at least 20%
- An additional Vulnerable Children and Families crisis payment
- An initial, and universal, home energy support payment of at least £300
- The removal of VAT on home heating bill and the suspension standing charges
- An immediate cut in petrol tax of at least 20%
- A reversal of the planned increase in National Insurance payments
- The immediate restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive
- The adoption of a budget to allocate the available £300 million
- The passing of the necessary legislation at Westminster if the Executive continues to abdicate its responsibilities.
The financial and economic response to the pandemic was swift and effective. If golf clubs can receive cash subsidies and businesses be supported to the tune of over £22 billion then working-class people, families, single parents, the elderly and the vulnerable can also be provided for. But we can’t rely on the Executive, the five main parties and their politics to do it.