Ritchie: IDS Resignation Exposes Sinn Fein’s Weakness on Welfare

Ritchie: IDS Resignation Exposes Sinn Fein’s Weakness on Welfare


SDLP MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, has described former Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation as further vindication of the SDLP’s position on welfare reform and once again exposes the callousness of Sinn Fein’s decision to hand the Assembly’s welfare powers over to Westminster.

Ms Ritchie said:

“Iain Duncan Smith’s assessment of the Government’s welfare policies is damning, even if it took him much longer to realise what the SDLP and other opposition parties have been saying now for several years. I have already written to the new DWP Secretary of State, Stephen Crabb, to detail the SDLP’s grave concerns about any cuts to PIP or changes to its points system and to urge him to abandon this attack on the disabled.”

“Regardless of his true motivations for resigning, Iain Duncan Smith’s assessment of the unfairness of these cuts is clear for all to see. In joining the DUP in the lobbies to vote for the “welfare clauses of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill as initially introduced at Westminster”, Sinn Fein have given George Osborne and this Government free reign to implement cuts that even Iain Duncan Smith deems unjustified and ideological.”

“The SDLP has consistently argued that Northern Ireland’s welfare should be dealt with in Northern Ireland. Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation leaves Sinn Fein with further serious questions to answer as to why they handed these powers back to the Tory Government.”