Stewart Dickson, Alliance Party MLA for East Antrim, warns snap elections could have grave consequences for policy in Northern Ireland, particularly on issues regarding Finance, Benefits and Health.
With the Budget planned for April now increasingly unlikely, Mr Dickson said: “I believe that our already overworked Healthcare system will be stretched beyond its capabilities in the coming months. This could well prove disastrous and put thousands of vulnerable people at risk. Our GPs and hospital staff are already under an unbelievable amount of pressure even without these further concerns.
“Depending on the actions of the Department of Finance, this year’s budget could fall up to 5% short of last year’s figure. As a result of the uncertainty, Departments will be unable to plan strategically.”
Mr Dickson is particularly worried about the Communities and Voluntary sector, saying: “I find it a disgrace that thousands of jobs are being put on the line. Many more service users needing help are being put at risk. The continuation of funding is urgently needed.
“People are also facing great uncertainty over the introduction of the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’. Many are worried about what this could mean for their personal finances, and rightly so.”
Mr Dickson stated that: “Alliance will continue to fight for a fairer benefits system for all people across the United Kingdom, particularly for the most vulnerable in society”.
Mr Dickson also voiced his concerns over the issues with Regional Rates. The Land & Property Service could be left without the ability to collect District Rates due to the looming election.
Mr Dickson concluded: “The supposed reduction in Corporation Tax was something that my party and I saw as an opportunity for Northern Ireland. To become more prosperous and more independent. Due to the incompetence of those in power, this appears evermore unlikely.”