Belfast Telegraph

Thousands take to Belfast’s streets to oppose ‘half-baked’ Budget plans

By Aine Fox

Thousands of people gathered at Belfast City Hall at the weekend during a rally against the latest round of Government cuts here.

Members of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) estimated that around 6,000 workers and their families gathered in the city centre on Saturday to protest against the cuts outlined in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget, delivered to the Commons on Wednesday.

The crowd was addressed by Taryn Traynor of UNITE and Peter Bunting, ICTU Assistant General Secretary. Mr Bunting told the crowd the Chancellor’s plan was “half-baked and half-witted”.

“Cuts in health and education will hurt the vulnerable, from the very young to the very old,” he said. “Cuts in public services are an attack on the security of women, because most of the jobs under threat are carried out by women and most of the services being slashed are used by women more than men.”

He also strongly criticised changes to the benefits and pension systems, saying people are being forced to look for jobs which don’t exist. Mr Bunting also appealed to those gathered to march again on April 6.

A second march was also held in Derry's Guildhall Square.

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