IT is “totally unacceptable” for Britain to take more powers away from the North of Ireland's Government, Martin McGuinness has said.
There are fears that some of the devolved power may be taken back if Stormont does not soon reach an agreement on welfare.
Welfare discussions have been ongoing in the North of Ireland's parliament for several months now. The Welfare Reform Bill failed to pass through parliament in May.
The issue of powers being taken from the devolved government and welfare cuts have been hotly debated by Stormont politicians as the bill has been up for discussion.
There were rumours circulating that Mr McGuinness would step aside as Deputy First Minister if more power was given to the central administration in London – but he refused to confirm or deny his plans.
“If the British Government take back welfare powers from the North, or put in a civil servant to set a budget in imposing further cuts, that would be totally unacceptable to Sinn Féin,” Mr McGuinness said. “And I let them draw their own conclusions as to what that means."