Belfast Telegraph

General Election 2019

We will scrap welfare reform and block Brexit: People Before Profit

Gerry Carroll MLA at People Before Profit’s manifesto launch
Gerry Carroll MLA at People Before Profit’s manifesto launch

By Allan Preston and Ralph Hewitt

People Before Profit have promised to block Brexit, scrap welfare reform and fund childcare if elected to Westminster.

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Speaking at the PBP manifesto launch yesterday, MLA Gerry Carroll said the DUP and Sinn Fein could no longer be trusted.

"We are the only socialists standing in this election, to provide an alternative to the big parties who have stood by as our health service was crippled, public sector workers were underpaid and overworked, and who voted for devastating welfare reform measures," he said. "We know we cannot trust those parties to stand up the Tories - only a socialist can do that. If elected, we will go to Westminster to vote against Tory cuts, against a Tory Brexit and any no-deal scenario, and to stand up for the people of the North who've been failed or under-represented for far too long."

On welfare reform, the PBP pledged to scrap PIP, Universal Credit and the bedroom tax.

The manifesto states: "We cannot trust the big parties - Sinn Fein and the DUP - who voted for welfare reform to do this."

PBP demand an end to a freeze on public sector pay, adding: "Consecutive Westminster and Stormont governments have denied workers in the public sector and local health service decent pay and conditions."

If elected, the party has promised to vote against Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

"We believe that people should have the right to a say on any Brexit deal. We will also commit to using our vote against any no-deal or hard border scenario, whether it comes from London or Brussels," the manifesto said.

Mr Carroll also accused Sinn Fein of dirty tricks, claiming it had placed election posters below his own stating that 'People Before Profit still support Brexit'.

He said the posters do not include who published them or where they were printed, as per electoral rules. Mr Carroll said: "This is a flagrant effort by Sinn Fein to ignore these regulations in order to try and give the appearance that these posters are PBP posters. But Sinn Fein's desperate actions have proven one thing -they see PBP as a threat and that this election has become a two horse race."

But Sinn Fein candidate Paul Maskey said Mr Carroll would "rather talk about anything" other than PBP's support for Brexit. "Gerry Carroll is delusional if he believes that the electorate in West Belfast don't see through his transparent attempt to mislead the public on his party's support for a Brexit driven by the Tory party and UKIP," he said.

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