Cuts will have devastating impact on Mid-Ulster’s public services - Hutchinson

Health workers on picket duty outside Altnagelvin Hospital yesterday morning during a four hour walkout. DER4814MC005
Health workers on picket duty outside Altnagelvin Hospital yesterday morning during a four hour walkout. DER4814MC005

All trade unions are expected to ballot their members for a planned general strike in March, according to Mid-Ulster Trade Union Council spokesperson Harry Hutchinson.

He said the NI Trade Union Congress are planning to hold public meetings throughout the province in order to expose the impact of the cuts to public sector jobs and services.

He said: “The draft budget proposed by the NI Assembly will have a devastating effect on already over stretched public services.

“The £872m of cuts for the 15/16 financial year could result in 12,000 public sector job losses. The cuts are likely to continue until 2019.

“Cuts to Social Development could see job losses of over 800, Housing Executive 300, Further Education 500, DARD 300.

“Student college places will be reduced by 1600, and free school meals for many school children will cease. Many towns will see the end of public transport. Cuts to policing and the Justice Department will impact on communities.

“Despite these cuts to the NI block grant, the British government have handed £85bn to Corporations in the last year and do nothing to quell Corporation tax evasion, estimated to run over £100bn. The NI Assembly appear to have succeeded in aiding Corporation’s further by reducing Corporation tax further to 12.5 per cent at a cost to the block grant of £300m.”