Monday 25 January 2020
Green Party MLA Rachel Woods spoke during an Assembly debate on Covid regulations, to say that the Executive's reluctance to take difficult decisions before Christmas has led us to the Covid crisis point we face at present.
Rachel Woods MLA said:
"Independent scientific and medical experts warned that the only outcome of easing lockdown restrictions in December would be increased rates of Covid transmission, pressure on our health care system and increased death rates.
"Yet, the Executive ploughed on with the easing of restrictions in full knowledge of the consequences. The Executive avoided taking the tough decisions that were required in a dangerous display of populism."
Rachel Woods continued:
“It didn't have to be this way. The Executive hasn't produced an appropriate plan to deal with the crisis, and it's failed to provide the necessary practical and financial support to enable people to stay safe and stay at home.
"There has been a lack of clear and consistent actions and messaging from the Executive, with Ministers repeatedly contradicting each other and expert advice across the course of the past year. Ministers published plans and frameworks for decision-making, for easing and tightening restrictions and then failed to follow them.
"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.
"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 announced the formation of a Covid taskforce late last year but there's been little public information on its work since then.
"The greatest strength the Executive could show would be to recognise its limitations and allow an independent Covid taskforce to navigate us through this crisis."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498