The Ulster Unionist Party’s Communities spokesperson, Andy Allen MLA, has warned that proposed pension changes at Westminster highlight the necessity of Northern Ireland being represented by 18 MPs who actually attend Westminster and speak up for the interests of the people of Northern Ireland.
Andy Allen said:
"The news that the Conservatives are considering dropping the element of the ‘triple lock’ that guarantees annual rises of at least 2.5%, should concern everyone in Northern Ireland. Pensions experts have warned that pensioners who rely on the state pension for most of their income will be the biggest losers should such a measure be enacted.
“This is a reminder to those people who might be considering voting for abstentionist candidates in the forthcoming Westminster election, that even if the Assembly was up and running, there are still non-devolved matters which have a major impact on people here.
“There is little point in talking about standing up for the interests of the vulnerable in society if you won’t even bother to turn up in Parliament to make your voice heard where it actually matters.
“It reinforces the Ulster Unionist position that it is absolutely essential that Northern Ireland is represented at Westminster by 18 MPs and is able to punch its full weight in standing up for all our people. For that to happen we need eighteen voices in the Chamber of the House of Commons turning up and speaking up. Abstentionist MPs will represent no-one.”