Ten years of failure to blame for bleak outlook: UUP

The Ulster Unionist Party has said the 'bleak' picture painted by the civil service briefing document on public spending released on Monday illustrates 'the reality of the last 10 years of failure by DUP-Sinn Fein'.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 5:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 5:26 pm
Steve Aiken said Sinn Fein had 'totally abdicated' their responsibilities
Steve Aiken said Sinn Fein had 'totally abdicated' their responsibilities

The UUP’s finance spokesperson, Steve Aiken, made that assessment as he hit out at Sinn Fein for refusing to re-enter power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

“This is the civil service trying to point out the reality of the last 10 years of failure by DUP-Sinn Fein,” he said.

“It is quite clear that the failure to form an Executive is placing ever increasing pressure on our public services.

“It seems that Sinn Fein are totally abdicating their responsibilities in refusing to allow the formation of an Executive and in not taking the basic decisions of government.”

The Alliance Party, meanwhile, said the “political vacuum” in Northern Ireland is to blame.

The party’s deputy leader, Stephen Farry MLA, said: “This document demonstrates the political failures and missed opportunities in Northern Ireland over recent years, and in particular the consequences of a political vacuum over the past year.”

The SDLP MLA Claire Hanna said it was “unfair and irresponsible” to leave the “job of government” to civil servants.

She said: “There are hard decisions to be made, that’s reality and any responsible political party must be prepared to face reality.

“The democratic deficit created by the political impasse has left the job of government solely to civil servants – that is unfair and irresponsible.”

She added: “The challenges facing Northern Ireland were not just created over the last year, but over the last 10 years government should have delivered more.”