A leading trade union official in the North West has warned that cuts by the new Tory-Liberal Government would reach into all areas of Northern Ireland.
Secretary of Derry Trades Council Liam Gallagher warned that any attempts to slash the grant from Westminster must be strongly resisted if job cuts are to be avoided.
Estimates as to how the Conservatives’ planned £6bn reduction in public spending across the UK will filter through to Northern Ireland have been placed at between £100m and £200m.
Derry currently has the highest rate of unemployment in Northern Ireland, having risen recently to around 7.3%.
Mr Gallagher said that everyone will feel the effects of David Cameron and the Conservatives returning to power over the next two years.
He said: “Cameron is committed to immediate cuts and there is no way in which the Northern Ireland subvention will escape a significant reduction.
“This will mean that there will be a reduction in heath, social service, housing, education and local authority spending next year if these proposals are not resisted.
“Given that Derry has largely lost its manufacturing base, we are now dependant on the public sector and retailing to sustain our economy.”
Mr Gallagher said it was “incredible” to expect public sector workers to pay the price for the “unrestricted greed of banks”.
He added: “Speculators are now crawling out from under rocks to lecture us on the need to reduce public borrowing.”
Mr Gallagher described the idea from some political quarters for a corporate tax reduction to 12.5% to generate growth as “a nonsense”.
He said: “It will create another loophole for corporations to avoid paying tax and make shareholders richer.
The whole concept of a cohesive fair society which cares for the less well off is predicated on the principle of a fair taxation system based on ability to pay.”