‘Standing Against Austerity’


Standing Against Austerity

Workers Party Northern Ireland Conference 2015

Standing Against Austerity

Saturday 7 November

This year’s Workers Party Northern Ireland conference will focus on the politics of and the alternatives to the current austerity agenda.

 Discussion will address the ‘home grown’ nature of much of the austerity measures, the role of the Stormont House Agreement in confirming the austerity project and  the social, economic and political costs involved.

 As always, the conference will also take a critical look at a number of aspects of life in Northern Ireland including sectarianism, racism, homophobia and marriage equality.

United community response needed

Lives at risk and communities disrupted

Lives at risk and communities disrupted

Workers Party representative in the Oldpark area, Chris Bailie, has called for a united community response to the discovery of yet another suspect device in the north Belfast area.

Commenting on the  security operation in the Oldpark Road area, Chris said,

“For the second time in less than a week lives have been put in danger, people evacuated and communities disrupted.

“There must be a united and unequivocal response from the entire community which rejects these type of violent acts and which clearly says that  the people who carry them out have no legitimacy, no contribution to make and no role to play in our society”

 “I urge anyone with any information to contact the PSNI”, Chris concluded

‘Local austerity is home grown’ conference hears


Sinn Fein and DUP lead the home grown austerity drive

The role of the Executive parties in implementing a home-grown austerity programme has been highlighted at the Workers Party’s annual conference in Dublin this weekend.

Delegates heard that the most damaging cuts in Northern Ireland have been engineered by the five Executive parties who, along with the business community, have campaigned for a reduction in Corporation Tax: something which even the Tories did not propose.

To offset the cost of lowering Corporation Tax for big business, Sinn Féin, the DUP, SDLP, Alliance Party and Ulster Unionists, are taking 20,000 jobs out of the public sector and are significantly reducing public spending on education, public transport, the community and voluntary sector and the arts.

They propose to  make up the shortfall by selling off public assets like the Belfast Harbour Estate.

These are not Tory Cuts – they are the price the people of Northern Ireland are paying for tax give aways to big companies and they are being paid for  by working people and their families and by cuts in public services and jobs.

People want a rapid humanitarian response

Refugees Welcome

Refugees Welcome

Party representative in Upper Bann, Damien Harte has asked the local Council to set out its plans for welcoming refugees to the Borough.

“Currently there are plans for to receive as few as 50 to 100 refugees and asylum seekers across Northern Ireland by Christmas.  There is a very clear ground swell of popular support welcoming for refugees,” Damien said.

“We have witnessed civic society showing leadership and playing its part.  People have been collecting essential supplies for distribution.  We cannot and will not let this support be lost.

Safe and secure

“We need Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to follow the lead of local people.  We need to know how many people will be welcomed into the Borough and we need to know  that they will have  safe and secure accommodation and access to a full range of support”, added Damien

“I am also urging the Assembly at Stormont to take a lead and, working with all the relevant statutory agencies, expedite the settling of these vulnerable people, so that they may continue their lives”.

Stop the bombing

While it is important that we respond quickly and comprehensively at a local and regional level we must also address the root causes of the problem and the reasons why so many thousands of people have fled across international borders. Only an end to the US and NATO interventions in Syria, Libya and Iraq which have provoked the current crisis can do that,” Damien concluded.

Party supporting Care Homes Campaign

Care home closures are Stormont cuts

Care home closures are Stormont cuts

Party members  joined the public rally at Stormont earlier this week to protest about plans to close up to 12 care homes across Northern Ireland.

The protest, organised by ‘Friends of Care Homes’ and supported by trade union UNISON –  was held to held  to lobby MLAs for their support in opposing  plans to close all NHS residential care homes.

Party representative Lily Kerr said,”This has nothing to do with improved care for older people. These are the financially driven decisions  – not of the Tories at Westminster – but of MLAs at Stormont’.