Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

RSPB plans rally over spending cuts

RSPB Northern Ireland director James Robinson warned spending cuts could harm conservation

Bird lovers have warned that spending cuts in Northern Ireland could set conservation back years.

The RSPB is organising at rally at Stormont on Wednesday which will feature the grim reaper with his scythe.

Ministers face making millions of pounds worth of cuts following this month`s Comprehensive Spending Review by Chancellor George Osborne.

RSPB Northern Ireland director James Robinson said: "It is what we eat, where we live, the water we drink, the education that we have.

"It is all-pervasive and if the Government think that letting it suffer during this round of cuts is acceptable because it is a 'soft touch', they really need to think again."

The RSPB said many people owed their livings to the environment.

Mr Robinson added: "If we do not fund the environment now, future generations will be left to pick up the bill. This will include pollution, poor health, and, of course, a countryside bereft of wildlife."

He said Northern Ireland's environment has been badly neglected over the past 40 years.

"We have made some small progress over the past five years, but to take the foot off the pedal now would be a disaster," the director said.

"It would undo all the good work that has already been done and set us back several years."

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