The survival of the Northern Ireland Assembly is the most pressing political issue of 2017, local MP Francie Molloy has warned.
The Mid Ulster representative made the dire warning in a New Year message to the constituency.
“2016 ended on a very sour and politically depressing note with serious questions hanging over the political institution that is the Assembly”, he said.
“The Cash for Ash (Renewable Heat Incentive) scheme raised serious questions about the role of DUP politicians from the very creation of the scheme right through to its ultimate closure.
“Questions have very rightly been asked and only a very focused inquiry will provide the answers that the electorate need.”
He said that the latest scandal is just one of a number of issues – Red Sky, NAMA and others have previously hit the headlines – all of them raised queries around DUP Ministers.
“The people need to have confidence that the elected politicians can be trusted to make the right decisions for the good of the people as a whole.
“The Executive and the Assembly has to ensure that it can deliver on it’s commitments with the confidence of the public at the centre of it’s programme for government. At present it seems that public confidence is not there.
“So there will be clear decisions required in the first few days of the Assembly when it returns in mid January. The Christmas break should have provided space for those within the DUP to recognise that they have to show leadership or risk it all.”
He went on to say that he has requested a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to discuss the delivery of health services in Mid Ulster and the creation of Community Plans within local government.