Local politicians have differing views on what they would like to see from new British Prime Minister in Liz Truss, following her ascension to the office.
West Tyrone’s Sinn Fein MP Orfhlaith Begley called for a “complete change of direction” from the PM and the current government whilst the DUP’s Tom Buchanan wants the Northern Ireland Protocol replaced.
“Twelve years of a Tory class war has not served the people of Ireland well,” Orfhlaith Begley said this week.
“Liz Truss and her Tory government need a complete change of direction to help restore the Executive. This means honouring international agreements (the NI Ptotocol), respecting the outcome of the Assembly election in May an end to pandering to the DUP.
“There also needs to be the introduction of proper windfall taxes on big energy companies who are making extortionate profits. Action is needed to prevent the obscene profiteering off the backs of ordinary people.”
Meanwhile, Mr Buchanan wants a ‘protocol bill’ initiated.
“The protocol bill can ensure the worst excesses of the NI Protocol are rolled back and our place within the United Kingdom is restored,” he said. “That is important as the Protocol has meant a 25 per-cent tariff on steel coming from GB to NI. That is more than £100million worth of steel every year, increasing the cost to build playgrounds, roads, schools, hospitals and houses.
“The Treasury also tried to give tax breaks on energy efficiency measures but couldn’t apply them to NI because of the Protocol. Our food prices have increased by almost 30 per-cent because of transport costs increasing when bringing goods from GB to NI.
“The Protocol is very actively contributing to the cost-of-living crisis we find ourselves in. That’s why we want it replaced.”
One area where the two parties were in quasi-agreement was that action is needed on the cost of living crisis.
Mr Buchanan continued, “The Prime Minister has announced significant assistance in relation to energy bills which we welcome. We have been clear that the scale of the crisis we face means that significant action could only be taken at Westminster. It also highlights however the real benefits we receive here in Northern Ireland through our place within the United Kingdom.”
Ms Begley added, “We need an Executive in place to tackle the energy crisis in a fundamental way and to release the £43 million to support workers, families and businesses.”