‘Agreement is a sop to big business’ – Newry Unite Community

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Saturday, November 28th, 2015
Community, Politics
Newry Unite Community branch spokesperson Martin McKeown, has described the recent Northern Ireland agreement as ‘a sop to big business’. unite9Speaking to Newry Times, Martin said the new agreement is effectively ‘Robin Hood in reverse’. “Instead of taxing the rich to provide for the poor, our politicians have agreed to the biggest attack on Social Welfare in history and at the same time gave big business a 12.5% tax windfall. “It is estimated that £300-400 million will be expunged from our block grant over the first three years. This is money that will be taken from our NHS, Education, Social Welfare and infrastructure; this money will be handed to fat cat businessmen to splurge, while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet,” he contended. “The Stormont House Agreement is a very dark day for all the people of the North; thousands of jobs are going within our public sector. These are jobs that will not be coming back. Thousands of people will find themselves on the dole, thousands of people will have to try and survive on benefits that are being cut left, right and centre.” Martin says our political leaders have been trying to dress this up as a great deal or rather the best deal on the table. “No amount of spin or massaging of figures can disguise the fact that this is austerity, which again is a fancy word for cuts,” the local spokesman insisted. “This is an attack on the working class; this is an attack on the disabled, poorest and most needy within our community. This Agreement has set aside over £200 million to catch benefit fraudsters and also for the segregation walls in Belfast, which keep our working class communities apart.” “No money has been allocated to deal with the legacy of the past, nor has any money been provided to catch the tax avoiders who squirrel billions to off shore accounts every year. “The Stormont House Agreement mkII,” he continued, “is a sop to big business that will cause misery, poverty and death. We need to stand together on this issue.” Local Independent Councillors and Unite Community activists Kevin McAteer and Davy Hyland echoed these sentiments. “This is not an issue of political allegiance or religious beliefs; this is a struggle to survive. This Agreement is a very, very dark day for everyone regardless of whether you live in Barcroft, Derrybeg or Shandon Park; these cuts are going to hit every working class person the same,” McAteer said. Echoing these sentiments Davy Hyland added, “This is not a time for apathy or a time to stick your head in the sand and wish it all away, this is real. A tsunami of Welfare cuts is on the horizon, which is bringing a deluge of hardship, misery and pain. We need to stand together and let our elected representives know we will not take this lying down.”

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