Hundreds protest over spending cuts
Hundreds of people have attended trade union rallies against public spending cuts in Belfast and Derry.
In Belfast, Irish Congress of Trade Unions assistant general secretary Peter Bunting told the crowds the burden of the crisis should not be loaded on the poor and denounced bankers he blamed for the crisis.
Health Minister Michael McGimpsey was among politicians who attended the demonstration, part of a pan-European day of action.
Mr Bunting said: "Working people did not vote for this coalition and do not support these unnecessary cuts but ordinary working families and those who are jobless are in a recession not of our making.
"We are the very people that this Westminster Government expects us to dig ourselves out of the hole created by the friends of the Tories and the schoolmates of the Liberal Democrats."
Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has warned of looming £2 billion spending cuts in Northern Ireland because of London reforms.
Today he said banks need to do more to aid economic recovery by lending to private businesses.
Outside Belfast City Hall, Mr Bunting claimed bankers are gamblers who treat the economy of the country like a roulette table and continue to pay themselves outrageous bonuses underwritten by the taxpayer.
"They contribute very little which is socially useful, far less useful than our most underpaid and undervalued public and private sector workers," he said.
"These spivs are not only the root cause of our financial crisis ... their values of short-term profits with no social contract, of evading and avoiding their fair share of taxes ... they dazzle our elected politicians and opinion-formers with their quasi-scientific spells and their ill-gotten wealth. These are the values and influences our society needs like a gambler needs an unlimited supply of credit."