SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP said that the implementation of further Tory austerity in the Northern Ireland Budget Bill this week will underline the distinct choice between two different futures.
Speaking ahead of a debate on the budget set by Secretary of State Chris Heaton Harris at Westminster on Monday, the SDLP Leader said that with public services in crisis, people will more and more look to a better future in a New Ireland.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“Tory austerity has eroded the basis of good public services in Northern Ireland for more than a decade. We have endured wave after wave of cuts that have pushed more people and families into poverty, stifled ambition and erased opportunity.
“The budget being forced through Westminster this week is more of the same - with cuts to schools that the Education Authority says will have a profound detrimental impact on children and young people. Is this the future that anyone here wants?
“The truth is that without change while political parties, and the DUP in particular, refuse to work together in the interests of the people we represent, more Tory budgets will be forced on us against our will. But that doesn’t have to be our future forever.
“People here are considering, many for the first time, what a different future in a New Ireland could look like. Free from the constraints of Tory austerity and able to set our own path. That is, in my view, a future worth working toward.”