The DUP representative said:
“Our nurses and healthcare workers deserve better from the Government. They watch whilst those doing the same jobs in other parts of the UK are given a pay increase, but have to listen to the Secretary of State and others wash their hands of the issue.
Be in no doubt, the Government could resolve this issue if it so desired. They have intervened on a number of chosen issues in Northern Ireland in the absence of devolution, but ignored others that have a real impact on many people, not least the issue of public sector pay. The Department of Health has been clear that as the budget currently stands, they do not have the resources to implement a pay award. Other Departments are in the same position, yet the Secretary of State absolves himself of responsibility. When it comes to Casement Park he says “we’ll get the money, don’t you worry” but snatches hard earned money from the grasp of nurses. It is shameful.
Northern Ireland’s public services are underfunded, and the Secretary of State was left in no doubt today what he needs to do – step in, and step in now. Deliver this money for local healthcare workers and do the right thing.”