SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has warned that the draft budget agreed by Sinn Féin and the DUP will mean cuts to frontline services across Northern Ireland but particularly in Mid Ulster.
The Assembly member said that the budget, forced through the Executive by the DUP and Sinn Féin, will hammer Mid Ulster.
Mr McGlone said, “Only a day after the draft budget was announced, we are already seeing some of the dire effects of the Sinn Féin/DUP cuts agenda. Minor injuries units are being forced to close, hospitals are being shut down and capital projects are being derailed.
“Nowhere is this more apparent than in Mid Ulster where these cuts, enforced at the behest of Martin McGuinness alongside his party and DUP colleagues in the Executive, will hammer ordinary people, small businesses and hard pressed families.
“The derailing of the community safety college at Desertcreat is a huge blow for the entire North but it is an acute disaster for Mid Ulster and our local contractors. This Executive has failed to deliver project after project and our construction industry has lost out as a result.
“Now the cuts will also see the closure of one third of all beds at Mid Ulster hospital. As we approach winter, when seasonal pressures on hospitals increase significantly, how can we justify cutting the amount of beds available to treat the sick?
“This budget reflects some of the worst excesses of a slash and burn austerity ideology. That’s why the SDLP voted against it and that’s why we’ll continue to fight it.”