Unite community activists protest devastating impact of Tory austerity cuts
Changes to social welfare provision will mean most vulnerable face devastating income cuts
Lowering corporation taxes will mean hundreds of millions in deeper cuts to public services
Speaking ahead of planned protests by Unite community branches outside DUP and Sinn Fein offices tomorrow (Saturday, 28th November 2015 at 1-2pm); Unite Community Organiser, Albert Hewitt, expressed his union’s concerns over the likely impact of devastating cuts facing local communities:
“Our community activists have led the way in terms of highlighting the devastating impact cuts to social welfare provisions and tax credits are likely to have on the most vulnerable in our society. We have also highlighted the impact that cuts to Legal Aid are having in terms of cutting access to legal redress over unfair welfare decisions – this protest is part of that wider campaign against Tory austerity measures.
“Last November’s budget heralded unprecedented cuts to public services – it is likely that future budgets will be even more destructive. As if these were not enough, George Osborne is currently seeking reductions of up to 24% in Departmental budgets – cuts on this scale are driven by an ideologically-motivated desire to dismantle core public services. These cuts are unconscionable and offer nothing to all communities in Northern Ireland.
“Working class communities are rightfully very concerned about the scale and severity of the expenditure reductions which will be forced through by the Tory government. The budget does not recognise the higher objective need existing in Northern Ireland, a society still transitioning conflict, and will be deeply divisive in terms of impact. The recent deal between the parties ties the hands of the NI Executive in the face of further and deeper Tory austerity cuts in the future.
“Perhaps of greatest concern is the deal’s proposal to reduce corporation tax to 12.5% in an unwinnable race-to-the-bottom on global tax haven status. No one knows just how much this will cost but we can be certain that this will mean hundreds of millions of pounds of further cuts to public expenditure budgets at a time we cannot afford them. Our communities deserve better. These protests send a clear signal that Unite in the community will be at the forefront of the campaign against austerity in Northern Ireland”, Mr Hewitt concluded.