Unite: “The recent deal between the parties ties the hands of the Northern Ireland Executive…”

The BBC reports that the Unite union has held protests against the “Fresh Start” deal outside the offices of the Northern Ireland parties responsible for it – the DUP and Sinn Féin.    From the BBC report

Protests against the government’s austerity measures have been held outside a number of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin offices.

The protests at Belfast’s Shankill and Falls roads, Londonderry, Ballymoney in County Antrim and Newry in County Down were arranged by the trade union Unite.

Unite’s Albert Hewitt said there was concern over the “devastating impact [of] cuts to social welfare” funds.

The quotes from Unite’s Albert Hewitt continue

“The recent deal between the parties ties the hands of the Northern Ireland Executive in the face of further and deeper Tory austerity cuts in the future,” Mr Hewitt said.

He was also critical of plans to reduce corporation tax in Northern Ireland to 12.5%.

“No one knows just how much this will cost, but we can be certain that this will mean hundreds of millions of pounds of further cuts to public expenditure budgets at a time we cannot afford them,” he said.

Of course, there are some within Sinn Féin who would agree…

“As for corporation tax, we won’t be signing up to any cut unless we afford it and we won’t be able to afford it any time soon comrades.” [Sinn Féin Belfast City Council group leader Cllr Jim McVeigh]

And that was before they handed those powers back to the Brits Tory government.

Interestingly, whilst the DUP response is to defend the agreement they made with Sinn Féin

The DUP defended the Fresh Start agreement, saying the party’s “number one priority” was to “bring jobs to Northern Ireland”.

“Lower corporation and the Fresh Start agreement will give us the tools to do that,” a party spokesman said.

Sinn Féin’s response is to defend themselves blame the Brits “Tory government”.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said the party supported trade unions in their “campaign against Tory austerity policies”.

But he added: “The focus and energy of protests should be directed at those directly responsible for austerity, the Tory government in London.”

[No-one’s buying it… – Ed]  Indeed.

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