Speaking this evening as speculation grows that a Tory/Lib Dem coalition is to be formed, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that developing a common approach across the Executive to any proposed British Government cuts would be a priority issue in the days ahead.
Mr. McGuinness said:
“Over the course of the past 24 hours Sinn Féin have been in contact with party leaders here and with both the British Labour party and the Tories. It is clear that whatever negotiations are going on at Westminster they do not involve any of the parties from here. Despite some local MPs clearly trying to exaggerate their influence.
“What we need to build is our own strategy to defeat the proposed cuts. This is too serious an issue to leave to the numbers game in Westminster or to parties who have already committed their votes before the election even happened.
“Developing a common approach to secure the best block grant possible and to resist cuts to public services will be a priority issue in the days ahead. Indeed it is my view that the Executive should discuss this matter urgently.
“It is Sinn Féin’s view that this strategy needs to involve participation of the community, voluntary, business and Trades Union sectors and that the Junior Ministers should have a role in co-ordinating this approach.
“The Executive needs to be ready and waiting for the next British government. We need to be ready and united to stand up to a Tory/Lib Dem coalition who will want to press through cuts to frontline services.” ENDS