People Before Profit jeopardise Belfast workers jobs
West Belfast Sinn Féin candidate, Alex Maskey, has criticised People for Profit for putting jobs and the future of community centres at risk by siding with the DUP in a vote on rates yesterday evening.
Speaking today Mr Maskey said:
“Last night at the monthly meeting of Belfast City Council Sinn Féin supported a proposal to increase rates by 1.8%.
“This will mean a small increase of 43p per month for a terraced house, 65p per month for a semi-detached house and £1.45p per month for a detached home.
“The reasons for this are simple.
“This will pay for a 1% wage increase for over 2,500 council staff.
“This will pay for a community grants programme that, if not funded, would see 81 community projects losing funding from this April, many of whom would suffer job losses and have to close their doors.
“This will pay for a Belfast Works Programme that will be established to support Belfast residents who have no qualifications or the skills levels to seek employment to gain those skills and qualifications and also look at progression routes for people.
“This will pay for a support programme for those who want to start or develop workers’ co-operatives, social economy projects and small business start-up and growth, all of which will support local employment.
“So when People before Profit slam the rate increase, what they are slamming is the maintenance of council workers jobs, a wage increase for thousands of ordinary council workers and vital funding for community facilities in our areas.
“Last night Sinn Féin supported council workers, community centres, qualification and skills programmes for the unemployed. People before Profit didn't.”