The massive spending cuts the new “Con-Dem” government will announce in June’s emergency budget will be the first stage of an unrelenting attack on working class people, sustained over years. Despite the veneer of opposition from some MLA’s, the local politicians are fully committed to implementing this Thatcherite agenda.
This will amount to a colossal re-distribution of wealth away from workers to bail-out the banks and big business and will “Con-Dem” us to a future of attacks on vital public services, job losses, pay cuts, reductions in state benefits and increases in the retirement age, amongst other attacks.
Members of the Socialist Party today picketed the meeting of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust's Executive Board to highlight and oppose the cuts which the body is implementing. The Trust had moved the location of the meeting from Knockbreda to Knockbracken Health Care Park at the last minute. Pat Lawlor, West Belfast Socialist Party representative, delivered a petition to William McKee, Chief Executive of the Trust, opposing all cuts and demanding a halt to privatisation of services.
Patients with infectious diseases side-by-side with surgical patients, wards grossly understaffed, single - use equipment being used on many patients - even a lack of rubber gloves!
No, this is not a description of conditions in hospitals in a poor African country, but reports that we have heard from NHS staff right here in Northern Ireland!