MIL-OSI UK: Full force of welfare reform hardship yet to hit home

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Thursday 17 February 2018
Clare Bailey MLA has said that while welfare reform has already caused great hardship for many people, the ominous reality is that the full force will only hit once mitigation comes to an end next year.
The Green Party leader was responding to a Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) Report on the implementation of welfare reform.
Clare Bailey said: “In the first instance, the Department for Communities must do more to ensure that those entitled to mitigation are supported through what can be a complicated process.
“Millions pounds of mitigation money is unspent – £136million out of £213 million according to the NIAO.
“This is much needed funding that families and individuals across Northern Ireland are missing out on. Families that are using food banks to get through the week, individuals that can’t afford to travel to medical appointments.
“The NIAO findings around the impact of welfare reform on housing are also significant. Early indications show that more people are entering into rent arrears as a result of welfare reform. I’m concerned that our homelessness crisis will be exacerbated by rent arrears stemming from the roll out of welfare reform.
“The ominous reality is that mitigation ends next year and the full force of welfare reform will hit home only then. People across Northern Ireland will face serious hardship when callous policies such as bedroom tax and the two child tax credit cap come into full force.
“The continuing absence of our devolved administration means that Sinn Féin, Alliance and the DUP, who all supported welfare reform, will be absent without leave as the policy plays out across communities.”
ENDS
Clare Bailey MLAMedia contact
Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498

Tags: Clare Bailey MLA, Green Party NI

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Clare Bailey reflects on two years since the collapse of our devolved institutions

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Wednesday 09 January 2019
Today marks two years since the collapse of devolved government in Northern Ireland.
Green Party leader Clare Bailey MLA reflects on the two year hiatus and calls on the Secretary of State to take a more inclusive approach to improving the political picture:
“The pantomime season may have just drawn to a close, but the farcical situation of two years without a functioning devolved government continues across Northern Ireland.
“It’s impossible to sugar coat the situation we find ourselves in. Brexit has been a shambles and has left the Westminster parliament and wider society dangerously divided.
“Many public services are under severe pressure from a prolonged programme of Tory austerity. There has been little or no movement on human rights and equality issues such as same sex marriage and abortion law reform. Victims of institutional abuse are dying without access to justice or reparations.
“Steven Agnew MLA’s last motion before the collapse of Stormont was a call for a meaningful Ministerial accountability process. The RHI inquiry and successive Stormont controversies have shown that Steven’s call was spot on.
“The lack of Ministerial accountability has been a contributory factor in the death of our devolved institutions. Any return to devolution must include meaningful Ministerial accountability measures. The previous pattern of stumbling from crisis to crisis has seriously damaged public confidence in our politics and our society.
“The Secretary of State Karen Bradley continues with a take on the role of an absentee landlady and strikes an obscurely upbeat note about our dismal situation when she drops into the jurisdiction.
“There must be serious questions answered by the Secretary of State. What are the prospects for All Party talks and will these talks be inclusive and purposeful?”
Clare Bailey MLA concluded:
“I call on the Secretary of State to take an inclusive approach. A political system dominated by Sinn Fein and the DUP failed to deliver good government. Civic society and new voices can inject the impetus and positivity that the politics of the past has stolen away.”
ENDS

Tags: Clare Bailey, Clare Bailey MLA, devolution, Green Party, Green Party NI
by Clare Bailey MLA

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Clare Bailey MLA: Politicans employing family an unwanted facet of the politics of the past

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Teuesday 08 January 2019
Clare Bailey MLA has said that the continuing practice of MLAs employing family members is, “an unwanted facet of politics of the past.”
The comments come as an Irish News survey revealed that 15 MLAs employ their relatives and almost 1/3 of DUP MLAs with relatives on the payroll.
The Green Party leader said: “I don’t employ any relatives, nor does Steven Agnew MLA. I believe that people should be appointed on merit.
“The practice of employing relatives is on the wane. However, MLAs employing relatives is an unwanted facet of the politics of the past and is damaging to community confidence.
“There are many articulate and talented people across Northern Ireland not in employment at present. I want to see them have every opportunity to realise their potential through open and fair recruitment practices.”
ENDS
Media Contact
Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498

Tags: Clare Bailey MLA, Green Party, Green Party NI
by Clare Bailey MLA

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Don’t rush into a pet as a gift this Christmas

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Wednesday 19 December 2018
It’s a fact that Northern Ireland people love animals and pets, but sadly sometimes people rush into getting a new pet, often without any research or thinking about the long term care of an animal.
Clare Bailey MLA, leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland said:
“A dog or pet can be a brilliant addition to any family, but they come with important and long-term responsibilities.
“As always, please remember that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.
“Also, if you are thinking about getting a dog this year, please consider rehoming a rescue dog from one of our brilliant animal sanctuaries like Assisi Animal Sanctuary.”
Nigel Mason,  Chief Executive of Assisi Animal Sanctuary added:
“Please do consider looking at your local animal rescue sanctuary if you are thinking of adding a new pet member of the family.
“I agree with Clare that people often don’t understand the implications of a new pet especially if it is obtained from social media sources or worse still puppy farms. Sadly Assisi sees too many dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea-pigs obtained from these places only to find that there are health and behavioural issues that were not disclosed. Many are then taken to sanctuaries like Assisi as owners cannot or will not take on future responsibility for their animals.
“Once in our care we can help them to rehabilitate but need the pet loving public to help us in offering homes for life. As usual at this time of year our animal units will be full of needy pets looking for a second chance so please do come support us by offering a home or indeed making a donation to help us to carry on helping animals and people.”
ENDS
Media contact
Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498

Tags: Assisi Animal Sanctuary, Clare Bailey, Green Party, Green Party NI
by Clare Bailey MLA

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Urgent action needed to address air pollution problem

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Thursday 13 December 2018
Green Party leader Clare Bailey has said we must assert everyone’s right to breathe clean, fresh air as a government report highlighted high levels of carbon monoxide in breach of air quality standards at three Northern Ireland monitoring sites.
Carbon monoxide levels breached Air Quality Standards (AQS) at Belfast, Downpatrick and Dungiven testing sites. The three testing sites all were located close to busy roads.
Clare Bailey MLA said:
“Everyone has the right to breathe clean, fresh air. The effects of dirty air cause most damage to the health of our most vulnerable – young children, older people and those with pre existing health conditions.
“We know that on average, 550 people in Northern Ireland die from respiratory conditions linked to air pollution each year. The worrying levels of carbon monoxide at these monitoring sites show the scale of the air pollution problem.
“The Belfast testing site is at Stockman’s Lane which I know well as South Belfast MLA. It’s of no surprise that this busy route is an air pollution hot spot. A huge volume of cars and lorries use this road to come into and out of the city.
“We need urgent action to tackle air pollution through the provision of sustainable public transport and the promotion of active travel. The introduction of the Glider system is a positive and should improve air quality standards across the city of Belfast but additional action is urgently needed.
“This report shows that the air pollution problem persists across Northern Ireland. Citizens have a right to breathe clean, fresh air and be empowered to make sustainable and active travel choices.
“Green politicians in Government at all levels can grasp the mettle, taking the urgent action needed to address the air pollution problem across our towns and cities.”
ENDS
Media contactSinead McIvor – 07701302 498
Notes to editors
1. DAERA Air Pollution Report
https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/daera/DAERA%20Air%20Pollution%20NI%20Report%202017%20screen%20version.pdf

Tags: air pollution, Clare Bailey MLA, Green Party NI
by Clare Bailey MLA

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: People’s Vote a democratic solution to Westminster chaos

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Wednesday 12 December 2018
Clare Bailey MLA said that the outcome of the confidence motion in Theresa May as Conservative Party leader will not negate the necessity of a People’s Vote.

The leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland commented: “Westminster is in chaos, the government is divided.
“Mrs May promised “strong and stable” government but now presides over an administration in meltdown
“Irrespective of whether Mrs May holds onto power this evening or succumbs to internal Tory attack, Westminster will remain deadlocked.
“A democratic solution is possible. A People’s Vote is needed now more than ever.”
ENDS
Media Contact: Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498
Tags: Brexit, People’s Vote, Westminster
by Clare Bailey MLA, Clare Bailey

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Pro-remain parties – ‘pressing need for the backstop to be banked’

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Monday 10 December 2018
Statement from the pro-remain parties:

“The four Remain parties, Sinn Féin, SDLP, Alliance and Green Party continue to believe that there is no such thing as a good Brexit and our preference is for no Brexit at all. We recognise that the majority of people, businesses and civic society do not want Brexit either.
“We have a shared responsibility to protect jobs, economic stability, the environment and people’s livelihoods.
“At the very least, this means avoiding a hard border, protecting the Good Friday Agreement and hard won peace of the past twenty years, and staying within the Single Market and a Customs Union.
“Therefore as a basis for this, we maintain that there is a pressing need for the backstop as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement to be banked.
“By contrast, we believe that a no deal situation would be catastrophic for our economy and society.”
ENDS
Signed by:
Michelle O’NeillColum EastwoodNaomi LongClare Bailey
Tags: Backstop, Brexit, Withdrawal agreement
by Clare Bailey, Colm Eastwood, Michelle O’Neill, Naomi Long

MIL-OSI UK News