Sinn Féin councillor Cathal McLaughlin has criticised the actions of the DUP, UUP and Alliance party representative’s for “playing with peoples livelihoods’ in the aftermath of the councils setting the rates.
Cllr McLaughlin said: “Last week we witnessed turmoil on two occasions, particularly for the constituents of the Ballymoney.
“Firstly we discovered that the food bank in Ballymoney has recorded a 20% increase in the number of people it is supporting.
“Supplies were given out to 352 people in January, up from 293 people during the same month last year.
“Then we had the Unionist politicians in CC&GC, five of whom represent Ballymoney, along with the Alliance party, impose a 3.49 percent rates increase, along with taking £500,000 from council reserves (money kept for a rainy day), for a one-day event. Sinn Féin were totally opposed to this.
“What a total slap in the face that is to their electorate who can’t afford to heat or feed their families. We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis and this is having an impact on many ratepayers locally. It should be the duty of elected representatives to make decisions to ease the burden on those we represent, particularly on the most vulnerable.
Mr McLaughlin concluded by saying, “352 people attending a food bank in one month, in 2022, is totally unacceptable, but obviously the DUP, UUP and Alliance party don’t really care about how other people, including those in Ballymoney, have to suffer.