Tories ‘exploiting crisis’ claims Derry People Before Profit candidate Doherty

People Before Profit Derry & Strabane Council candidate Damien Doherty has accused the Tory party of "exploiting the crisis” brought about after the DUP refused to re-enter Stormont “to impose further economic punishment on all communities here”.

"Even before the budget was announced children have been targeted with vicious cuts to holiday meal grants, baby books, school programmes and early years provision,” the Ballyarnett candidiate said.

NI Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris last week announced the 2023/24 Budget for Northern Ireland, with the total amount allocated to Departments reduced by 0.4%. However, this does not fully reflect the extent of the pressures facing individual departments due to inflation, rising costs, increasing demands and pay pressures and it has been warned that “in order to live within the funding available difficult decisions will have to be taken”.

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Mr Doherty said: "This budget means our health service and many other vital public services will continue to struggle.

People Before Profit candidate Damien Doherty.People Before Profit candidate Damien Doherty.
People Before Profit candidate Damien Doherty.

"Workers will be told there's no money for pay rises. The vulnerable and the least well-off will suffer.

"We oppose Stormont, whether the Assembly is operating or not, being a vehicle for Tory austerity.”

“We should reject the idea these cuts are inevitable. The best way to push back is by putting feet on the street. We need to build the strikes and people power actions.

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"Trade unions and community organisations have a vital role to play opposing cuts to services and demanding better for workers and the vulnerable.

"It's urgent we build resistance to Tory austerity from the bottom-up - from our workplaces, our schools, our community centres and our Councils."