Budget ‘offers no alternative’ - Unite

A leading Derry trade unionist has said the draft budget “offers no credible solution” to the economic problems of the North.

Liam Gallagher, chair of Unite in Derry, made the comment as he called for more to be done to prevent public sector job losses.

Mr Gallagher said the draft budget recognises many of the problems facing the North in the current economic downturn but added that it does not identify ways of tackling those issues.

“The Draft budget offers no credible solutions for to our problems other than suggestions for limited tax raising through regional rates, a plastic bag charge and the old chestnut of considering reducing corporation tax, which will not create one new job but will help gave Multi Nationals another tax loop hole, “ he said.

He also claimed the draft budget would harm the local economy rather than helping it. “The fact is that given all of the universally acknowledged economic problems that we have, 4 billion pounds will be taken out of our economy at a time of the dire need for investment and far from rebalancing the economy this budget will set back any prospect of economic regeneration for another 30 years. It will send unemployment up into double figures and grow more dependence on the state instead of diminishing it,” he claimed.

The trade union leader also said: “To suggest as some have, that the Kelvin Project and small numbers of proposed retail jobs out of City Centre and City Of Culture spin off will offer us hope is to delude ourselves. It may get MLAs elected for the next four years but it will not address our urgent need for sustainable work,” he said.