Speaking as Stormont talks take place, People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said:
‘The Westminster election results were a warning to the big parties. People want change, and they want it now. A return to the Stormont gravy train of the past simply will not do.
‘We need urgent action to address the devastation of welfare reform. Increasing numbers of people are going to food banks. The mitigations are nowhere near enough to protect the vulnerable.
‘The Stormont talks must urgently address the need for a reversal in welfare cuts, and a benefit system fit for purpose.
‘While politicians are talking behind closed doors on the hill, nurses and health workers are taking action on the streets. Any executive which doesn’t address the concerns of these workers isn’t worth its salt.
‘Nor can any incoming Executive ignore the growing threat of climate change. Previous Stormont administrations were notable in their inaction on the environment. We need to ban extraction of fossil fuels, put an end to fracking, and begin the development of a serious program for the development of Green energy.
‘These talks should be conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner. Dodgy SF/DUP stitch ups should be a thing of the past. We need all party talks now. Socialist parties with a mandate like PBP should not be excluded. What have the big parties got to fear?
‘Despite this, the voice of socialists is most certainly being heard. We will be on the picket lines with the nurses and health workers, demanding better for their future. That is where the real progress is happening in this country.’