Mr Eastwood said that the crisis in our health service would be at the top of the SDLP’s agenda and should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the days ahead.
British Secretary of State Julian Smith will convene a fresh round of talks starting today, Monday, December 16, at Stormont Castle in a bid to restore the power sharing Stormont Executive and Assembly.
The Executive was collapsed in 2017 by Sinn Fein over a row with the DUP over the RHI cash-for-ash scandal.
Mr Eastwood, who won back the Foyle seat from Sinn Fein’s Elisha McCallion with a massive 17,000 majority, said:
“At the ballot box on Thursday, people across Northern Ireland sent a very clear message ahead of all-party talks this week – it’s time for politicians to get back to work.
“There were plenty of parties ready to commit to restoring the institutions during TV debates, now they have the opportunity to act accordingly.
“The scale of the challenge we face is immense. Our Health Service is in crisis – waiting lists are spiralling out of control and hardworking healthcare staff demand and deserve pay parity with their counterparts across these islands.
“Our schools are on the verge of a full blown resource catastrophe if urgent action isn’t taken.
“And critical investment across the North is being delayed by a failure of political leadership.
“It has to stop now.
“We are entering last-chance talks this week.
“The SDLP has made bold proposals that are uncomfortable for us but are in the interests of restoring government to meet the needs of patients, pupils and healthcare workers.
“We will continue to stretch ourselves but it is for the DUP and Sinn Féin to set aside their dispute and act, at last, in the interests of the people we all represent,” added the new MP for Foyle.Tags: