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Sinn Féin back ICTU rallies against spending cuts

3 November, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has called for people in the north to show their support for our public services by attending rallies organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Derry, Magherafelt and Newry this Friday, November 6th.

Mr Adams said:

“The Irish Congress of Trade Unions National Day of Protest on Friday will give people from across Ireland the opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to cuts in public services.

“The focus in the north the will very much be on planned cuts to the health service, including job losses and the closure of hospital beds. The British Treasury is demanding ‘efficiency savings’ of £700 million over the next three years.

“The reality is that it will be the most disadvantaged, whose life expectancy is already significantly lower than others, who will be most adversely affected these cuts.

“Our priority is the defence of front-line public services and to tackle health inequalities and ensure that vulnerable people, people living with disadvantage and poverty, and those most at risk are protected.

“The Executive is facing very real challenges in meeting the efficiency targets demanded by the British Treasury.

“I believe that there are steps we can and must take to defend public services, and already Sinn Féin Ministers in the Executive have taken steps to ensure that key public services such as water and public transport remain under public control.

“Sinn Féin have led the demand for greater all-Ireland working across the Health Service and I believe this could deliver substantial savings that could be channelled into sustaining and developing front-line services. Ending duplication and maximising the scale of economies could release millions back into service delivery. I also believe that the proper implementation of the Investing for Health Strategy can deliver huge savings.

“It is time to mobilise, agitate, educate and politicise for real change. These rallies are an important part of the campaign to defend public services that must continue beyond Friday.” ENDS

Note to Editors

The rallies in the North are being held at 1pm in Armagh (Hospital); Ballymena (Diamond); Belfast (City Hall); Derry (Custom House Street, off Guildhall Square); Magherafelt (Diamond)l; and Newry (City Hall).

And in the 26 Counties in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo, Tullamore, and Dundalk.

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