“With departments announcing their budgets for the next four years, we are beginning to see what the £4 billion cuts will really mean for public services in the North. In health, services will be slashed and facilities are left empty. Support services for the most vulnerable in our society will be devastated. Desperately needed improvements in school facilities will be abandoned. Thousands of jobs will be lost. On top of this, a further £1 billion will be stripped from our economy through attacks on benefits.
“Along with increased rates and taxes on ordinary people, this is a recipe for economic disaster and a nightmare for the working-class. Despite the ‘anti-cuts’ posturing of some parties in the Executive, they are willingly doing the dirty work of the Tory-LibDem government. If they were really opposed to the cuts, the Assembly parties should refuse to implement them and instead help to build a mass movement to fight for adequate funding from Westminster.
One day public sector strike
“I welcome the pledge from Patricia McKeown of Unison that her union will fight the cuts. All public sector unions should now come together to build for a one-day public sector strike. This would raise the confidence of workers to struggle and could act as the beginning of a determined campaign of industrial and community action to defeat the cuts.
“It is now clearer than ever that none of the parties in the Executive offer a real voice for workers and young people. The trade union movement should urgently move to launch a new anti-sectarian, working-class party to fight against the cuts.