Letter of Support
We the undersigned wish to record our complete opposition to the massive cuts being implemented and planned from Westminster and Stormont. To mark this opposition we urge people to join a protest in Belfast from 5-6pm on 24 June outside the European Commission offices on the Dublin Rd to coincide with a European-wide week of protest and solidarity.
Across Europe, workers are facing huge attacks on living standards. However, cuts are not inevitable. From Greece to Spain and Portugal, workers are beginning to fight back. Locally, workers are confronted with a tsunami of cuts. Since the current Executive was formed, cuts or “efficiency savings” as our MLA’s prefer to call them have been implemented every year across all Departments. These cuts have already led to job losses and a severe increase in workload for workers providing much needed services. Our health service is creaking under pressure from years of underfunding. The latest round of cuts announced by the Executive has already led to the closure of A&E services at Mid-Ulster and Whiteabbey hospitals. At the same time ambulance provision is being cut. This will lead to unnecessary deaths.
Cuts are being felt across all public services. The closure of schools and further & higher education campuses combined with threats to raise university tuition fees means education will no longer be an option for the thousands of young people joining the dole queue.
It is estimated up to £35 billion could be cut over the coming five years across the UK. The impact of these cuts will be devastating for working class communities who depend on public services, especially in Northern Ireland. Swinging cuts to the public sector will also lead to further job losses in the private sector.
The blame for the budget deficit does not lie with public sector workers and working class people. The fault is to be found in the boardrooms of the financial institutions, of the banks, of unelected hedge fund managers and of the speculators who made obscene profits gambling on the stock markets. In 2008/09 alone, £109.5 billion was given away to the banks to save their hides. The wealthy continue to live in luxury after being bailed out, yet it is working class and young people who are expected to pay the price. There must be a determined organised fight to oppose the cuts and protect workers jobs, services and living standards.
Jim Barbour, Fire Brigades Union
Maria Morgan, NIPSA (personal capacity)
Frank Bunting, INTO
Pat Lawlor, Unite/Amicus Royal Hospitals Belfast (personal capacity)
Tommy Black, Socialist Party
Paddy Lynn, Workers Party