Politicians clash in general election TV debate

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Politics

17 hours agoBy Jayne McCormack, BBC NI political correspondent BBCPoliticians from Northern Ireland have clashed over health funding and the reform of power-sharing in the final TV debate of the general election campaign.The election is taking place on 4 July with 18 seats available in Northern Ireland.Representatives from each of the five main parties took part in the debate on Thursday evening.Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Gavin Robinson, Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard, Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader Colum Eastwood, Alliance leader Naomi Long and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) deputy leader Robbie Butler took questions from a live audience. On the future of the health service, executive parties were pressed about why they had not provided enough additional funding to address issues like long waiting lists and transformation of services.In May, then-Health Minister Robin Swann of the Ulster Unionist Party voted against the executive’s budget for 2024-2025, arguing it would lead to real term cuts for his department.Chris Hazzard said there was an onus on the next UK government to work with MPs from Northern Ireland to push for more funding to invest in the health service and transformation.The DUP leader Gavin Robinson said if the executive had allocated more cash towards health, the Departments of Justice and Education would have been left without funding for police officers and special needs education.Naomi Long argued that any plan for transformation needed to come from the Ulster Unionist Health Minister Mike Nesbitt.His colleague Robbie Butler told the audience that previous suspensions of power-sharing at Stormont had caused stagnation in the health service, while SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the parties needed to stop “squabbling” and make a united case to the UK Government.What else was debated?Asked how politicians could regain trust of the public after years of power-sharing being suspended, the parties were also at odds.Mrs Long said Stormont was “no more stable” than it was on the day devolution returned in February, following a two-year boycott by the DUP.”Politicians need to live up to the promises they make and be willing to deliver the governmen …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn17 hours agoBy Jayne McCormack, BBC NI political correspondent BBCPoliticians from Northern Ireland have clashed over health funding and the reform of power-sharing in the final TV debate of the general election campaign.The election is taking place on 4 July with 18 seats available in Northern Ireland.Representatives from each of the five main parties took part in the debate on Thursday evening.Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Gavin Robinson, Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard, Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader Colum Eastwood, Alliance leader Naomi Long and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) deputy leader Robbie Butler took questions from a live audience. On the future of the health service, executive parties were pressed about why they had not provided enough additional funding to address issues like long waiting lists and transformation of services.In May, then-Health Minister Robin Swann of the Ulster Unionist Party voted against the executive’s budget for 2024-2025, arguing it would lead to real term cuts for his department.Chris Hazzard said there was an onus on the next UK government to work with MPs from Northern Ireland to push for more funding to invest in the health service and transformation.The DUP leader Gavin Robinson said if the executive had allocated more cash towards health, the Departments of Justice and Education would have been left without funding for police officers and special needs education.Naomi Long argued that any plan for transformation needed to come from the Ulster Unionist Health Minister Mike Nesbitt.His colleague Robbie Butler told the audience that previous suspensions of power-sharing at Stormont had caused stagnation in the health service, while SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the parties needed to stop “squabbling” and make a united case to the UK Government.What else was debated?Asked how politicians could regain trust of the public after years of power-sharing being suspended, the parties were also at odds.Mrs Long said Stormont was “no more stable” than it was on the day devolution returned in February, following a two-year boycott by the DUP.”Politicians need to live up to the promises they make and be willing to deliver the governmen …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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