The signing of the St Andrews Agreement in 2006 was meant to represent a framework which would enable the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein to work together as the two largest parties in the Northern Ireland Executive. Peter Hain, Northern Ireland Secretary for State at the time, declared it an “astonishing breakthrough”. This so-called agreement, though, was nothing of the sort.
Sinn Fein has come under heavy criticism for refusing to rule out cuts. Socialist Party spokesperson Paddy Meehan said " Sinn Fein are grandstanding on the issue of cuts. Sinn Fein claims they are opposed to “British” Tory cuts but they have stated they are prepared to implement them after the Comprehensive Spending Review is announced.