SDLP Crotlieve Councillor Karen McKevitt has said that parties that voted for the bedroom tax cannot whitewash their record which has hurt struggling families.
Cllr. McKevitt was responding after Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O’Neill claimed the party had “binned the Bedroom Tax”.
Sinn Féin, the DUP and the Alliance Party voted to introduce Tory welfare measures, including the Bedroom Tax, to the North in 2015.
Cllr. McKevitt said:
“Sinn Féin’s claims about binning the Bedroom Tax for people in the North are utter fantasy, they are the party that imposed the Bedroom Tax and other cruel Tory welfare measures on people here, alongside their partners the DUP and the Alliance Party. This is the same party that insisted for years that the Bedroom Tax didn’t exist here when families were being forced to pay the price and now they expect credit for mitigating against the same harmful policies that they themselves introduced.
“Welfare mitigations are welcome, but people deserve to know the truth. Michelle O’Neill seems to be taking inspiration from Boris Johnson when it comes to misrepresenting facts and misleading the public. Until this week the Bedroom Tax was very real and it was hitting people across the North directly in their pockets. Politicians shouldn’t expect praise for cleaning up their own mess.
“The SDLP warned in 2015, and has been highlighting ever since, the effect these cruel welfare policies have had on people here. We are committed to a fairer welfare system and protecting local communities. People have been left living in fear every time the welfare mitigations have come before the Assembly, knowing their future could be held to ransom as a gambling chip between Sinn Féin and the DUP. Try as they might parties cannot whitewash their record on this cruel tax. The very least people deserve are politicians who are honest with them and hold up their hands and admit their mistakes when they get it wrong. I’m not surprised this is too much of a stretch for some.”