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DUP urged to ‘do the right thing’ and return to Stormont in face of cost-of-living crisis

There have been calls for the DUP to get back to work to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

Both Alliance and Sinn Féin have urged the DUP to return to Stormont to help families with the financial challenges that lie ahead.

Since the election in May, the DUP has refused go back into government until its concerns about the protocol are resolved.

Alliance MLA for Upper Bann Eóin Tennyson said the DUP wouldn’t be forgiven for continuing their boycott of the Assembly during a deepening crisis.

He said: “This is beginning to feel like Groundhog Day, with recriminations across the chamber reflecting the limited progress we have made since May’s election, despite the overwhelming mandate for a functioning Assembly and new Executive.

“The cost-of-living crisis is already being felt, with winter fast approaching. Government may move slowly, but the DUP blockade of the Assembly will cost lives this winter.”

He pointed out that one in four children here live in poverty while 71 per cent of households will be in fuel poverty by January.

He added: “Meanwhile the health service is broken, with those stuck on waiting lists, and staff that are struggling to cope, forced to watch as the DUP play with their lives. In the background of all these problems, the climate emergency looms.

“I urge them (the DUP) to do the right thing. Stop putting party over people, back the election of a speaker and allow us to get an Assembly up and running, so we can all get down to doing what we were elected to do and fix the problems Northern Ireland is facing.”

Sinn Féin Finance Minister and MLA for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy said the Bank of England forecasts of recession and of inflation hitting 13 per cent emphasised the need for the British government to “urgently get to grips with the cost-of-living emergency”.

And he urged the DUP to return to the Executive so ministers are in a position to take decisions and spend money to try to help workers and families.

He added: “The forecasts recently from the Bank of England paint a stark picture of the months to come, with predictions of a five quarter recession and inflation hitting 13 per cent

“Rather than the current navel gazing by the Tories in a contrived leadership contest, the British government needs to urgently act to tackle the cost-of-living emergency.

“We need to see action to cut taxes on fuel and energy to limit the increases that workers and families are facing in their bills.

“With near daily announcements of huge profits for energy corporations, more action is also needed to prevent this obscene profiteering off the backs of ordinary people.”

He added: “With increasing numbers of families facing a bleak winter, it is an absolute scandal that the DUP continues to boycott our institutions.

“Workers and families are struggling, they rightly expect government to be there to support them.

“We need an Executive now so ministers can take decisions to spend the £435 million currently marooned in a Stormont bank account.”

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