Other News In Brief

SDLP Slams Pension Plans

The SDLP has hit out at government plans to raise the pension age from 67 to 75.

Deputy leader Nichola Mallon said the proposal would condemn thousands into poverty in their old age and warned that the situation would be exacerbated by a no-deal Brexit.

The party's spokesperson on Social Justice said: "Raising the pension age from 67 to 75 would condemn thousands of hard working people to poverty in their older age and it should be resisted.

"In Northern Ireland, 14% of pensioners already live in absolute poverty. A study due to be presented this week demonstrates that older people here and in Britain suffer some of the worst rates of poverty in Western Europe. We should be doing more to deliver financial security for older people, not telling them they have to work themselves to death before they'll ever see their pension.

"We know that a no-deal Brexit, which will deliver food, fuel and medicine shortages as well as increased prices for consumers, will hit vulnerable older people hardest. We are fast approaching the point where we’ll force an entire generation into poverty and despair. It cannot happen."

L'Derry Construction Site Vandalised

The refurbishment of the Galliagh parish centre in County L'Derry has suffered a major setback after vandals damaged the building over the weekend.

A number of incidents of people gaining access to the building were reported, causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Around £300,000 is being invested in the centre to redevelop it as a hub for helping people who suffer from addiction and those who are homeless.

Local SDLP councillor Brian Tierney has hit out at the perpetrators for putting the project in jeopardy.
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He said: "Currently the centre is a building site and anyone entering it is putting themselves in serious risk.

"Once this project is complete I believe it will be a huge asset to this community and those behind these deliberate acts of vandalism are only putting the future of this much needed facility at risk.

"I would appeal to everyone within the area who may have seen someone within the site to contact police."

Foyle Pride Festival 2019 Launched

The Foyle Pride Festival, which unites the people of L'Derry to celebrate the LGBTQ community, has launched today.

The 26th year running, around 15,000 people are set to participate in the week-long celebrations, with around 8,000 expected to march in the parade on Saturday 24 August.

Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion encouraged as many people as possible to take part in this year's events.

She said: "Pride is all about celebrating the contribution the LGBT community makes to our society but is also about the ongoing fight for equality, including marriage equality. 

"The Foyle Pride festival is an excellent event every year and is part of the fabric of our city, culminating in the Pride march. 

"Sinn Féin is proud to support Pride and we will continue to do so. 

"I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to the festival events, particularly the Pride parade on Saturday August 24th, to stand up for equality and to show ongoing solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters." 

SDLP Councillor Cara Hunter also welcomed the Foyle Pride Festival. Writing on Twitter today she said: "I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to listen and learn from all age groups + genders about the impacts of marginalisation. Thank you to all who took the time to share their story. I look forward to learning more this week."


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