Hugh Scullion, the Party’s Mid Ulster representative, has cautioned against optimism on the return of the Stormont Executive.
“The restoration of devolution is welcomed, and long overdue, but there is a real possibility that the Assembly parties remain wedded to the Tory’s austerity policies of the past. That means the continued under funding of public services, including health and social care.” he said
“The funding promised in return for restoring the Stormont Assembly is disappearing faster than wood chips in an RHI burner. Politicians are now being urged to make “hard decisions” – as if this is a virtue. Hard decisions usually mean cuts in public services leading to longer waiting times in hospital Emergency Departments, longer waiting lists for treatments and agony for patients”, Hugh warned.
“The Mid Ulster area has seen one of the highest rates, only behind Belfast, of death from heart disease and cancers. The rates of suicide since the signing of the Belfast Agreement has surpassed the lives lost during the thirty years of “the Troubles.”
“More and more young people are turning to alcohol and drugs with increasing drug related deaths. Meanwhile the area’s health services are dwindling. These cuts particularly affect those in poverty and greatest need”.
Starved of resources
“The promises of the Conservative Government so quickly accepted by our local politicians will not solve the many problems faced by working class people in Northern Ireland. The NHS will continue to be starved of much needed resources both in terms of staff and facilities”. Hugh said
“For some time, the Worker’s Party has been calling for an inquiry into the financing and outsourcing of health care in Northern Ireland but we fear the present Stormont Executive will continue with a programme of austerity and privatisation of public services.
Holding to account
“We will be watching and holding the Stormont parties to account. For the past three years and one day the they have failed to serve the interests of the working class. the electorate will have their say at the next Assembly elections in two years’ time. That will be the time for the working class to hold them to account.”, Hugh concluded