Got this presser yesterday from the DUP under the byline of their Holywood based MLA Gordon Dunne. I think it’s interesting enough replicate the whole thing here without further comment…
‘Following the question being posed on a radio show this morning, the deputy First Minister rushed out a request for a meeting with the Chief Medical Officer. This follows details emerging of the impact that Sinn Fein cuts will have on the Department of Health as a result of their intransigence on welfare reform.
Did Martin McGuinness just not listen to the Chief Medical Officer at his last briefing in April or did he choose to ignore what he was told by Michael McBride some months ago? That meeting was held at Edwin Poots’ request, because the shadow of welfare reform was already looming over the Department of Health and the potential impact was starting to emerge.
When Sinn Fein walked away from the welfare package they had agreed to, a massive credibility gap was created, which they are desperately attempting to paper over. This rushed request for a meeting with the Chief Medial Officer is proof of that.
Sinn Fein Ministers have been regularly reminded in correspondence from the Health Minister to the Executive of the impact of welfare penalties on the local health service. Officials have also fully briefed Sinn Fein Assembly Members at the Health Committee.
What is important however is not this latest meeting where Sinn Fein will be briefed yet again. What is necessary is for them to listen and to accept the impact that welfare reform penalties are having on the most vulnerable in our society.’
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty