‘What cuts are we not being told about?’ – McNulty asks

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info@newrytimes.com
Monday, August 28th, 2017
Politics

SDLP Newry and Armagh MLA Justin McNulty has expressed concerns that government departments will push through a range of cuts to front line services in the coming weeks and that the emergency meetings called by the Health Trusts this week does not bode well.

 

Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty said, “This week the Southern Trust has called an Extraordinary Meeting and it will detail how the local Trust will implement its part of the £70million Department of Health cuts. However, I fear this will only be the start of a range of cuts across public services as the Civil Service commences slashing budgets. 

“This shouldn’t be happening, we should have a functioning Assembly and Executive with elected Ministers taking decisions. What is even more galling is the fact that we are told there is £2billion on offer from the Government should an Executive get up and running. Sick, needy and vulnerable people are paying the price for political instability with the impasse in the political process.

 

He continued, “In health we will be told that no front line services will be impacted by these cuts, however that’s just ignoring the heard of elephants in the room! The crisis in GP services, the failure to make new cancer screening tests available, acute pressure on waiting lists, out of hours GP services, delays in home help / domiciliary care packages are all just the tip of the iceberg in health. These issues need strategic ministerial leadership.

“This is not to mention the constant cries for more funding for education. Just this week I have met with parents who are struggling to get the proper support services for their children with Autism. School budgets are being squeezed, teaching and support posts are being cut. Coaching by the IFA and Ulster GAA in schools are also being targeted in this round of cuts.

 

“Whilst we are hearing about some of these cuts, what are we not being told about? Services in the community are under threat, roads are un-repaired, there’s a housing shortage. All this and yet hundreds of millions of pounds that have been earmarked for health, education, infrasture and broadband goes unspent because we have no Executive.

The local MLA added, “We need to see the Assembly and Executive up and running again with Ministers making the decisions on where money is spent.”

 


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