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Sinn Féin urge all parties to unite over Welfare Cuts
Published: 6 October, 2014
Following a heated debate, Fermanagh District Council passed a motion highlighting their opposition to the imposition of Welfare Cuts.
The motion, brought forward by Sinn Féin's Erne West Cllr Barry Doherty, was amended by the SDLP to remove the word 'Tory' as the UUP felt it was "derogatory" & "incorrect". UUP member Alex Baird went on to describe the motion as "a waste of time" & "irrelevant" and immediately said his party would be abstaining from voting.
Speaking for the motion, Cllr.Doherty noted;
"There are issues in history that nationalists and unionists are going to argue on, but this one we should be united on. Nobody is denying that there are problems with the Welfare System at the minute but with these proposed cuts, only one section of our society is going to be affected."
"It is doubtful that the people who elected the DUP & UUP councillors & who are on welfare care much about the origins of the word 'Tory' and are much more interested in the future economic wellbeing & how their elected reps are defending that."
Sinn Féin Cllr for Enniskillen, Debbie Coyle echoed these words;
"In the last 10 days, three women have contacted me, even stopping me in the street, about food banks. These women are already victims of financial cuts - what is to come of these individuals if the proposed Welfare Cuts were to go ahead?"
"We collected over 500 signatures in one day from people who are opposed to these cuts - not all of these people vote for Sinn Féin. Every party has vulnerable people and if every party stands together, united, we can fight the implementation of these cuts."
The motion was carried with 12 councillors voting for, 4 voting against (DUP) & 6 abstaining (UUP). The motion now requires the council to write to the First & Deputy First Minister to outline the opposition accordingly and urge them to jointly re-engage with the British Government to have them reversed.
The substantive motion stated;
"That this council is totally opposed to the imposition of welfare cuts which do not take account of the particular circumstances here and would have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable in our society including working families, the poor and people with disabilities and that this council writes to the first and deputy first minister to outline our opposition accordingly and urges them to jointly re-engage with the British Government to have them reversed."
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