North unemployment out of control

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Unemployment figures unacceptable and a harbinger of things to come, declares WP spokesperson Justin O’Hagan.

The July unemployment figures for Northern Ireland show that 58,000 people in Northern Ireland are out of work. What is most worrying is that the figures reveal just how bad the situation is in the North especially as compared to other regions in the UK. Last year unemployment grew by just over 7% in the UK as a whole, yet in the North the jobless total rose by 12%. That illustrates just how vulnerable the economy is to the expected slashing of public expenditure due to be announced in October. The future looks bleak indeed".

"But opposition and protest are growing. In June a picket of the European Union offices in Belfast was mounted by activists and trade unionists, including members of The Workers Party and The Socialist Party. A day of action by the European TUC is planned for the 29th September which includes a general strike in Spain. Already in Northern Ireland the biggest public sector union NIPSA have begun a campaign across the North to highlight the planned cuts and are predicting the loss of up to 30,000 jobs in the next year. NIPSA General Secretary Brian Campfield stated the union campaign was not just to mark opposition to the cuts but to counter the Government lie that there is no alternative but to cut public spending. NIPSA have pointed out that there are other ways to reduce the deficit including making those who can afford to do so, pay their fair share of tax. “Currently 123 billion is outstanding on uncollected taxes, largely as a result of tax evasion by the rich and big companies who pay little or no tax. “ declared Brian. "To that could be added the billions that could be saved by cancelling Britain’s Trident nuclear programme(7bn), the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan(4bn) and a 2% levy on the incomes of the top 10%" said Justin O Hagan "and we clearly see that there is indeed an alternative".

Issued 17th August 2010

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics