THE WORKERS' PARTY OF IRELAND

'Serious decline in public services' warning

"Wednesday’s spending plans will lead to a serious decline in the availability and standard of public services for the people of Northern Ireland," Workers Party spokesperson John Lowry has warned.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with the Northern Ireland Consumer Council, Mr Lowry said:

"People will see their living standards fall sharply, prices will rise and vulnerable groups in society such as the elderly, those with disabilities, lone parents and students will suffer.

"People on benefits and low incomes, already struggling to meet basic and essential living costs like fuel, transport and mortgages, are set to be hit hardest.

These are the very people who can afford lest to have their incomes and benefits tampered with in pursuit of an ideologically driven assault on the public sector and public services. Increases in VAT, housing, transport and fuel costs will hit the poorest hardest. Those who can afford to pay will not have too" he added.

"These harsh measures are neither necessary nor inevitable." said Mr Lowry

It has now been revealed that 11 of Britain’s 15 major banks have not signed up to a voluntary code of practice to cut off tax avoidance loop holes. Those that have are ones in which the taxpayer has a controlling interest. This demonstrates that those who created this mess in the first place are intent on continuing with the old ways even after having been bailed out to the tune of billions by the taxpayer, who are been asked to pay again through the measures to be announced this week"

It is vital that all the people of Northern Ireland, including organisations like the Consumer Council who have an obligation to protect the interests of citizens, stand together in opposition to these plans" Mr Lowry concluded.

Ends

Issued: 19th October 2010

Peace, Work, Democracy, and Class Politics