It now appears certain that the Stormont Executive have agreed to the implementation of Tory cuts in full.
Last month the IRSP challenged Sinn Féin ,the party who claim to oppose austerity, to reveal whether or not – under the Stormont House Deal – they had agreed to the destruction of Disability Living Allowance, the subsequent degradation of Carers Allowance, the introduction of a benefits cap, and the ending of Severe Disability Premiums via the deliberately deceptive ‘Universal Credit’ system, all of the core attacks which made up the savage Tory Welfare Reform Bill.
All of the above were vital elements in ensuring that the most vulnerable individuals and families in our society, including those disproportionately marginalised due to years of political conflict, kept their heads above water and could live with a modicum of dignity.
Since our request, Sinn Féin have not only refused to clarify what measures they had agreed to, they chose instead to cynically drip fed misinformation to the public, through an array of non-informative press-releases, empty sloganeering and vaguely worded media interviews, designed to lure working class communities into a false sense of security and stall grass roots and Trade Union attempts to build effective street based opposition.
In truth they had agreed to all of the above, and more. Not only have they capitulated to the bulk of Tory Demands, they have also accepted Ian Duncan Smiths appallingly conceived ‘Bedroom tax’, a complete and total U-Turn on Martin McGuiness’ 2013 promise to ‘resist this onslaught on the most vulnerable’.
Working Class people in the North are now facing into a nightmare and one inspired by the worst imaginations of Tory Social planning.
Claims by Sinn Féin and others to have ensured ‘protection for the most vulnerable ‘deserve to be treated as no more than contemptible drivel. The financial fate of our most vulnerable, will now be handed to contracted private assessment firms, such as the massively discredited ‘Atos’ and ‘Maximus’ co-operations, who at the bidding of right-wing governments, tour the world to declare ill and dying people ‘fit for work’.
Nor can any comfort be drawn from the sugar-coated promise of ‘Financial Support Schemes’. Even the most basic insight into the Benefits System will recognise such schemes to be no more than a re-manifestation of the currently existing and already woefully inadequate Social Fund.
While Sinn Féin boast about the availability of £565 Million over the next five years, let us remember that £140 Million was paid out by the Social Fund only last year, in the form of Crisis Loans, Funeral Payments and Community Care Grants.
What was previously lauded by Sinn Féin as ‘protection for the most vulnerable’ can now be revealed as no more than a targeted retention of the above said schemes. An appalling failure to stand up for the people against a Tory onslaught, an insult of our intelligence if anything.
All of the established parties have agreed to tearing the heart out of an already inadequate benefits system, and the poorest will now suffer dreadfully as a result.
Sinn Féin; the party who loudly promised to act as the bulwark against this onslaught have had their words exposed as hot air. For the sake of political power they have capitulated to the enemies of the Working Class, and the futility of their constitutional project has once again been exposed for what it is. Stormont remains a tool of Westminster and the international business elite, it deserves only the contempt of the Irish Working Class.
The Irish Republican Socialist Party now call on the people to take to the streets, to join with the grass roots and fighting Trade Unionists, to resist the career politicians and their anti-Social ‘Stormont House Deal’.
The establishment parties have betrayed your trust and condemned you to poverty.
Let us repay their betrayal with our united resistance.