Covid Inquiry reinforces need to end government by silos and vetoes, says Bradshaw

Alliance spokesperson for the Executive Office Paula Bradshaw MLA has argued that the Covid Inquiry has reinforced the need for reform of the devolved institutions, including the need for removal of sectarian vetoes over decision-making.

Political Reform Paula Bradshaw TEO

The South Belfast MLA, who is also Chair of the Executive Office Committee, has said: "We have heard clearly how the Executive did not function adequately during the early stages of the pandemic, particularly in the autumn of 2020.
"The application of 'cross-community voting', in effect, meant that there was a sectarian veto on crucial decision-making which had profound consequences on how the pandemic was managed in Northern Ireland. This led to delays and situations, for example, where certain services were reopening for a single week before then having to close again.
"This demonstrates that the case for reform of the institutions is no technicality; it is urgent and essential to ensure the adequate functioning of government, not least in times of emergency. A system based on silos and vetoes cannot provide the leadership necessary.
"It is now for the First Minister and deputy First Minister to bring forward proposals to remove sectarian vetoes and departmental silos and,  and if they do not, the UK Government must act immediately. We must see the de-sectarianisation of decision-making, to ensure that never again do we have to face such a profound challenge without a system which allows for stable leadership on behalf of all our people."