Trade Unions reject SoS Brokenshire's proposed education cut

25 Apr 2017

Stop the Cuts

Speaking in response to the NI secretary of state in his 'indicative figures' for the NI budget, the Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU, Owen Reidy commented:

"The trade unions will not accept the back-of-an-envelope figures produced by James Brokenshire in his 'indicative figures' for the budget he will impose on our schools and other public services, and nor should our elected representatives.


"The education unions have made clear the already precarious position faced by schools. A further cut of 2.5%, even before inflation is factored in, will push the system closer to the tipping point. We would remind the Secretary of State that there is ongoing industrial action from teachers and other support staff.

"It should be noted that this proposed cut adds to the already considerable levels of uncertainty to those who are employed in the education sector as well as for parents and our young people.

A further cut of this magnitude will lead to additional redundancies in education across the board. Class sizes will increase. Choices will be curtailed. The horizons will shrink for our students.

"We must also highlight the same cut for Health - a 3% increase in health spending amounts to a real term cut of almost 3% due to the well-attested fact of 6% 'Health inflation'. According to the King's Fund, NHS-specific inflation typically runs at double the Treasury’s current estimates inflation across the whole economy.

"The Secretary of State James Brokenshire said he is attempting to reflect the priorities of the local parties. Those parties should mark his copy and point out that the people of NI did not vote

for austerity budgets from their Stormont parties."