Lily Kerr, the Workers Party’s candidate in South Belfast, held her official launch rally yesterday with an affirmation that she was proud to be a socialist and proud to place the Party’s socialist agenda before the local electorate.
During a barn storming speech Lily fired several salvos at the outgoing Executive and Assembly but saved her most pointed comments for the economy, public services, a woman’s right to choose and the growing dependency on food banks in the constituency.
“We are told repeatedly about the jobs which the Assembly has attracted or helped to create over the last five years”, Lily said. “But where are they and what are they worth?”, she added.
Low wage economy “If we have the secure well paid employment that the Assembly boasts of then why is south Belfast the highest user of food banks in Northern Ireland’?, she asked. ‘I’ll tell you’, she said, ‘ because the jobs are not secure and are not well paid. They are mostly low skill and zero hours contracts based. The Assembly markets Northern Ireland as a low wage economy – and this is the result’ she said.
Health service in crisis Turning her attention to the health service Lily said’…health and social care services are in crisis. Be in no doubt about that. We need to reshape and rebuild and to do that we must involve users, staff, trade unions and the general public. We are where we are because of the influence of the clinicians and the endless number of finance driven reviews. We have to break that cycle’, Lily said
Trust women Lily’s final comments were reserved for those candidates and those parties who do not trust women to make decisions about their own bodies and their own fertility. Her message was unambiguous. ‘If you don’t trust women then I don’t trust you.’
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