The joint endeavours of the DUP and Sinn Fein have “well and truly brought Direct Rule upon us” SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly has said.
She said: “The budget presented by James Brokenshire, non-elected Secretary of State, is the same budget drawn by the former Sinn Fein Minister for Finance Mairtin O Muilleoir before the Assembly collapsed and fast on its heels will come another budget for next year cobbled together by the joint leadership of the British Government and the DUP.
“This budget is the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand ignoring all the issues caused directly by Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and latterly Universal Credit. It does little for a health service in crisis or an education service starved of resources.
“Against a background of increasing poverty not just for those who are marginalised but also those who would have classed themselves middle-class and thought they had the support of government in old age are also hammered by a shameful budget built on Tory austerity and division.
“The SDLP will challenge this budget in minute detail and will continually expose the hypocrisy of not just Brokenshire but those political parties that were the real authors of this shameful attack on people who paid their taxes and felt they had rights as they approached old age.
“Over the next few weeks and months the voice of ordinary decent people must be heard as we drift towards a state of injustice and inequality.”