Wednesday 06 January 2020
"The latest lockdown restrictions were to be expected. We were warned that infection rates would rise and our health service would become dangerously overwhelmed.
"However, it didn't have to be this way. The Executive has stuttered and faltered their way through the pandemic. There has been no clear plan to curb the virus and enable people to stay safe and stay at home through practical and financial support.
"There has been a lack of clear and consistent messaging from the Executive, with Ministers repeatedly contradicting each other and expert advice across the course of the past year. The virus has thrived and escalated in the face of the lack of a coherent and consistent approach and accompanying messaging.
"The competing political priorities of the five Executive parties have rendered their crisis management efforts ineffective. They have failed to get to grips with a succession of crises - our mental health crisis, our climate crisis and the crisis of poverty across society. Their inability to work together to tackle the Covid crisis with any degree of effectiveness follows a pattern.
"That's why the Green Party has called for an independent expert Covid taskforce to step in and provide non-partisan leadership in dealing with the pandemic. The Executive did announce the formation of a Covid taskforce late last year but there's been no evidence of implementation since then.
"The real power of this Executive would be for it to acknowledge the extent of its limitations in dealing with Covid."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498