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Sinn Féin and trade unions will continue to oppose austerity north and south - Kearney

20 November, 2015

Sinn Féin national chairperson Declan Kearney led a party delegation which met with senior ICTU trade union leaders from North and South in Dundalk today to discuss the Stormont House Agreement implementation plan.

Mr Kearney said;

"As part of Sinn Féin's ongoing engagement with the trades union movement we provided a detailed briefing on the negotiations which concluded earlier this week.

"We had a very comprehensive discussion with the union leaders, during which we highlighted that the extra half a billion pounds in new money and additional flexibilities negotiated which will be invested in public services and the economy.

"We also discussed the role of the panel set up under Professor Eileen Evason to maximise use of the £585 million fund aimed at supporting vulnerable and working families.

"The Agreement has averted a collapse of the political institutions and restored stability. The local institutions are the best defence against British Tory austerity policies.

"We are committed to using them as a bulwark against austerity, to protect core public services and jobs; and to attract further investment and grow the regional economy.

"However, the agreement is not an end in itself. This British government is ideologically committed to further austerity, cuts in public services, privatisation, job losses, and dismantling of the welfare state.

"Sinn Féin agreed with the trades unions that we will continue working together to oppose these policies North and South by using our influence in the political institutions, civic society and local communities to build increased popular opposition against austerity and in support of a fair recovery."

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