People Before Profit Cllr Shaun Harkin said,
“The Stormont Executive parties need to take collective responsibility for the many unnecessary deaths, illnesses and economic mayhem their calamitous pandemic policies have caused.
They refused to stand up to the Tories – and have appeased the DUP and big corporations at every step.
They will attempt to deflect from their collective responsibility with the pathetic bickering that constantly goes on. However, none of the Executive parties were willing to bring forward any radical proposals that challenged the Tory status quo. None have been willing to break with the health and the economic strategy of Boris Johnson and his corrupt circle of pals.
They can’t claim they haven’t had alternative proposals. They ignored proposals over and over again that could have reduced the number of people who have died; that could have reduced the hardships many have faced; and avoided the chaos we have witnessed in care homes and the crisis in our health service.
They refused to implement an all-island Zero-Covid elimination strategy. They refused to bring private healthcare facilities under public control. They refused to protect care homes. They refused to protect workers rights. They refused to put necessary financial support in place at a time when the government needed to step in with help.
They are refusing to back the call for a Wealth Tax on millionaires and billionaires to fund public services and increase workers wages. They’ve created one set of rules for themselves and big business and another set of punitive rules for Black Lives Matter protests and others.
There’s been a complete failure to take seriously the delivery of New Decade New Approach commitments. Instead, we get a plan to privatise the Housing Executive and slash funding for advice services, mental health provision and homeless services. It’s clear the “new” Stormont is the “old” Stormont.
Frontline workers have got us through this crisis. Often at great risk to themselves. If anyone deserves praise, it’s essential workers and everyone who has rallied to keep people safe.
Discontent at poverty and inequality is growing. We need to turn it into a people power storm that can upend the reactionary priorities of the Stormont Executive, the Tories and the Dáil Coalition Government.”