Speaking after a Sinn Féin motion on the disastrous impact on welfare cuts was debated at the Assembly ,Raymond McCartney said;
“We have already seen the disastrous impact of welfare cuts in Britain, particularly on the most vulnerable in society, including families on low income, those with disabilities and the unemployed.
“The implementation of these cuts in Britain have been a disaster and even the coalition parties are split on key aspects of the welfare legislation.
“Sinn Féin is opposed to Toryism and austerity north and south because we are an all Ireland party and because it is the right thing to do.
“In this day and age the need for food banks should be a badge of shame for any government. The numbers of people made homeless or driven into poverty should make any party unfit for government. That is why Sinn Féin is opposed to welfare cuts.
“Supporters of these cuts have told us that there is no other option and that we have already secured the best deal of all the devolved administrations but this ignores the opportunity presented to us with the promises made to Scotland in the days leading up to the referendum vote.
“If Nelson McCausland believes these cuts are acceptable then he should bring the legislation to the floor of the Assembly and allow the representatives of the people to have their say.
“We do have a choice. Sinn Féin supports the calls made by trade unions, church leaders, charities and a wide range of community groups who work to tackle poverty on a daily basis.
“The cuts that are now being imposed on services across departments are due to reductions in the block grant over a number of years. Adding welfare cuts on top of that would be a hammer blow to our communities.
“It is our job to protect our communities against these cuts and I would urge all parties to get together and present a united front against this agenda.”