The Political Parties of the Stormont Coalition will ramp up their PR machines over the next few weeks using catchy slogans and sound-bites aplenty. Government ministers and party representatives will harp on about “being brave” and “making difficult decisions” for the people of the Six Counties. Stormont government sources are suggesting that the impending cuts could run as deep as £700m – £850m.
And we’ve seen it all before. In December 2010 the two main Coalition partners, the DUP and SINN FEIN, along with ALLIANCE, agreed to and voted for these cuts with the aim of ‘absorbing’ £4 BILLION of ‘spending cuts’ – at the time, one Stormont Coalition Minister commented, “It will be a good Christmas present for the people of Northern Ireland(sic).”
Stormont’s 2010 Christmas present means:
An estimated 130,000 people are seeking work – a figure Stormont won’t acknowledge
One in every four young people aged 18-24 are without a job
1 in 5 children live below the poverty line – where families struggle to pay for basic necessities such as food, heating and clothing. *Astonishingly, this figure increases to more than 2 in 5 in West Belfast and in some areas of Derry as high as 63%*
21% of pensioners live in poverty
34,776 households on waiting lists
The new Welfare Reform Bill will hit the less well-off
If the Stormont coalition won’t acknowledge that there are 130,000 people in the Six Counties who want and who need work, how can that coalition ever get to grips with the economic crisis or all the social problems which flow from that?
And Stormont’s cuts agenda already impacts upon everyone.
In Health, up to 5,000 jobs, including many front-line workers, face the axe by 2015
1,500 posts earmarked to go in the next year
The number of hospital beds is being reduced
50% of residential care homes for the elderly to close
In education, schools in each of the Six Counties are facing threat of closure
Individual school budgets cut-back
Many young, newly qualified teachers cannot get permanent jobs
Far reaching changes to Welfare Benefits will hit the vulnerable, the ill and the poor
Housing Benefit will be cut and a ‘bedroom tax’ introduced
Community and voluntary sector groups are under-resourced and under-funded
First Minister Peter Robinson, DUP & Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin
Party representatives from the Stormont coalition would have you believe that they are not responsible for the misery sowed upon the people in this part of Ireland. Some of them would even tell you that the same Stormont government that implements the very cuts to your public services is not responsible for some of the highest child poverty rates in Western Europe.
Not content with the high child poverty rates or high youth unemployment, those snake-tongued politicians with their double-speak, media jargon and fancy PR campaigns are now going to attempt to swindle you out of a few hundred million more – and hand it, by way of a few fancy cash transactions, straight into the pockets of the European banks.
Party representatives from each of the government coalition partners will meet over the next few days, sit in a room together and cut the budgets of the government departments that handle Housing, Education & Welfare by as much as 20%. Our Health Service, already ravaged by cuts to beds and under-staffing, may not escape the turmoil.
Then those same politicians, after a few hours of deliberation and a few cups of tea, will stand in front of the assembled media and tell you that what they just did – they didn’t do – that it was someone else.
But you’ll know exactly who it was – and don’t you forget it.
IGNORE THE LIES from the Stormont Coalition Parties – These are not ‘Tory Cuts’ – They are Stormont Cuts!