Public meeting in Magherafelt on budget cuts

Copyright Kevin Cooper Photoline: Peter Bunting, Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU, at the ICTU Silent Vigil in memory of Prison Officer David Black took place at Belfast City Hall 1pm on Tuesday 6 November 2012. Politicians join with hundreds of Trade Unionists and members of the public who took part in a dignified and silent vigil in Belfast city centre.
Copyright Kevin Cooper Photoline: Peter Bunting, Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU, at the ICTU Silent Vigil in memory of Prison Officer David Black took place at Belfast City Hall 1pm on Tuesday 6 November 2012. Politicians join with hundreds of Trade Unionists and members of the public who took part in a dignified and silent vigil in Belfast city centre.

The Deputy General Secretary of Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Peter Bunting will be the main speaker at a public meeting in Magherafelt’s Bridewell Centre next week.

The trade union movement is hosting the event on Thursday, February 12 at 7.30pm to give its alternative to government cuts.

Also speaking will be Padraig Mulholland of NIPSA and Harry Hutchinson from the Mid-Ulster Trades Union Council, which is hosting the meeting.

In a statement, Mr Bunting said the trade unions believed there was an alternative to the agenda of making cuts to public services, and that should be the road taken.

“These are not just going to cause hardship, they will leave the economy stagnating as purchasing power is taken out of it,” he said.

He said the Stormont House Agreement meant huge cuts. He said economists working for the unions have analysed all the figures, and been unable to find the extra £2billion supposed to have made available.

Mr Bunting said the money available was much less. “In our opinion the only new money available to the Northern Ireland Executive is capital funding for shared and integrated education to the amount of £500 Million over a ten year period and £150 Million funding for dealing with the past,” he said. “The trade unions were particularly concerned at welfare reform. That is a way of saying welfare cuts, which will hit the weakest in our society.”