Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said health minister Simon Hamilton should be seeking to protect the most vulnerable in society.
Raymond McCartney said;
“Simon Hamilton has referred to £2m a week being taken by the Tory government from the block grant in fines.
“However this £2m is currently staying in our economy, in the pockets of the poorest and most vulnerable in society, including children with disabilities, adults with severe disabilities, the long-term sick and large families.
“Is the minister seriously suggesting we take that money out of the pockets of people with disabilities to fund public services?
“Sinn Féin’s priority remains the protection of the most vulnerable in our society from the vicious assault on the welfare system by the Tory government in London.
“It is disingenuous for health minister Simon Hamilton to claim that his budget is being hampered by our refusal to implement savage Tory welfare cuts.
“The British government is responsible for more than a billion pounds in cuts to the block grant and the impact that has had on public services.
“They have also announced plans to implement another £25bn of cuts to welfare and public services.
“Sinn Féin is calling on the local political parties to stand together and demand the restoration of our block grant and protect the most vulnerable against the Tory cuts agenda.
“Simon Hamilton and his DUP colleagues need to make it clear whether they are prepared to stand up for those most in need or whether they intend to punish them at the behest of a cabinet of millionaires.”