Belfast Telegraph

'Resist cruel cult of austerity'

Anti-austerity campaigners across the UK must unite to reject the economic policies of the coalition Government, a mass rally in Belfast has been told.

Thousands of public sector workers and supporters took part in the march, which was organised by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to coincide with similar demonstrations in London and Glasgow.

Peter Bunting, the assistant general secretary of ICTUni, said the devolved administrations must work together with opponents of the Government in England to send a clear message against the measures being introduced in Westminster.

With regard to Northern Ireland, Mr Bunting told workers they had too often been divided into sectarian blocs.

"We cannot allow that to happen ever again," he said.

"We shall resist such cynical, sectarian manipulation and we shall unite to resist the unworkable and cruel cult of austerity."

He warned Stormont Assembly members they must not "slavishly" implement cutbacks introduced by the London Government.

Earlier this month MLAs voted in favour of introducing controversial welfare system reforms similar to those enacted in England and Wales.

Mr Bunting added: "Let us work with our comrades and colleagues in Wales, Scotland and England to build an arc of resistance that rejects the economic diktats of the Conservative minority.

"The devolved administrations must build a robust joint defence of the people who elected them."

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