The Assembly must invest in education and skills
Workers Party representative in Upper Bann, Damien Harte, has criticised the short sightedness of the Assembly’s economic strategy saying that it is more likely to lose jobs than it is to either create or attract them.
Damien was speaking following the announcement by Craigavon pharmaceutical company Almac that it was unlikely to be able to recruit up to 300 new staff locally because there were simply not enough people with the relevant qualifications.
“The Assembly is bending over backwards to reduce corporation tax for big businesses and is prepared to pay for that by slashing university places and the skills and training budget“, he said.
“Northern Ireland needs a highly skilled and qualified workforce but the Assembly would rather give tax breaks to the rich than invest in young peoples’ futures and secure well paid employment. This is short sightedness in the extreme” Damien said.
“The Workers Party has said consistently that only a programme of public investment will turn the economy around and provide the jobs that will sustain and develop it, That investment must start with securing the education, training and skills to allow young people to apply for the jobs such as those being planned by Almac”, Damien concluded
Proud to be part of Pride
To mark the Belfast Pride Festival 2015 the Party will be hosting ‘Celebrate with Pride’ – a panel discussion on the current challenges facing the LGBT community in Northern Ireland .
The panel will include:
Sophie Long – academic researcher at Queen’s University and a member of the LGBT community
Mickey Murray – LGBT activist
Sean Og Garland, Party member and LGBT activist, and
Niall Dunne – Republic of Ireland Same Sex Marriage Referendum campaigner
Date: Thursday 30 July
Venue: Lower Falls Social Club, Grosvernor Road, Belfast.
- Gaza still needs support and solidarity
The 8 July 2015 marked the first anniversary of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
The 50-day conflict began when Israel launched an intense air and ground assault allegedly to end persistent rocket fire from Gaza.
Damien Harte, the Party’s representative in Upper Bann says, “a year on and not much has changed for the people of Gaza. The fallout from war keeps knocking on their door. They still endure long electricity shortages due to widespread damage to key civilian infrastructure and reconstruction has barely begun with shortfalls in International donations. We cannot forget these people in their humanitarian struggle“.
The Upper Bann branch will be taking part in a white line picket on Edward St, Lurgan, Friday 17th July at 7pm to send a message of solidarity to the people of Gaza.
The Party will also continue to support and raise awareness for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement). The BDS campaign urges various forms of “non-violent punitive measures” against Israel until it “complies with the precepts of international law”.
Sectarianism in the Assembly plays out on the streets
Party spokesperson in East Belfast, Kevin McNally, has condemned a spate of sectarian graffiti and an attack on a memorial in the Willowfield and Newtownards Road areas.
‘This is as lamentable as it is predictable’ said Kevin ‘ as we start into another summer the same old sectarian tribalism is dragged onto our streets to heighten tensions, mark out territory and lay the groundwork for community confrontation’
‘The people behind the sectarian graffiti and the attacks have absolutely nothing positive to offer the people of east Belfast. What we are witnessing on our streets is a mirror image of the sectarian dogfight that passes as politics in the Assembly.’, Kevin added.
‘The reality is that the ‘lead’ given by the main political parties in Northern Ireland continues to play out with potentially deadly consequences on our streets’, Kevin concluded.
See also: https://workerspartyelection.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/workers-party-condemns-glengormley-flags-and-graffiti/