Speaking on the eve of the Comprehensive Spending Review, Workers’ Party General Secretary John Lowry has urged the people of Northern Ireland to stand up against the cuts agenda. Mr Lowry told a Party seminar on the cuts that, “the Government's cuts programme is a political choice, not an economic necessity, and a deliberate policy that will make Northern Ireland a more socially divided society than it is already. In Northern Ireland today 15% of employees earn £1,000 0r more per week while 30% earn £300 or less per week. The bottom 50% of our people between them own only 9% of the wealth. And Cameron and his Con-Dem cabinet, 23 of whom are millionaires, try to pass the lie that the cuts will hurt all of us- that we’re all in this together.”
“On top of this,” Mr Lowry continued, “the very people who when last in power decimated the industrial base of the NI economy now tell us that state provision is “ top-heavy” here and is “crowding out” the public sector. In the real world, the state is a key provider of income to the private sector and must continue to be if we wish our people to have any kind of decent life.
“Figures from the South show that between 1998-2008 fewer than 4,000 new jobs were added by Irish and foreign firms in tradeable goods and services. During the same period more than half a million new jobs were created in construction, the public sector, retail and distribution. Of these only the public sector is now big enough to ensure growth and direction in our economy. We cannot rely on the private sector to grow the economy and we will not lower the deficit unless we grow. Even in terms of their own stated agenda the Con-Dem cuts will fail. But they will fail at the expense of the poor and vulnerable in our society, while the millionaires in the cabinet and elsewhere will emerge unscathed.”
In conclusion Mr Lowry urged all workers to join in the Rally Against the Cuts organized by the Trade Unions, which assembles outside the College of Art gardens 12.30 on Saturday October 23rd and will march to Belfast City Hall. “If you see any of the politicians from the Stormont Coalition on the march, ask them if they will promise not to implement the cuts,” Mr Lowry concluded.
Tuesday 19th October 2010