Eastwood slams £2.5bn for Tory ‘national service’ while public services collapse

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that a Tory plan to reintroduce mandatory national service in the British Military or ‘mandatory volunteering’ for 18 year olds is a shameless stunt from a dying government. . 

Mr Eastwood said that the scheme would never work in Northern Ireland and questioned why billions in taxpayers money should fund it while communities here suffer significant public spending cuts. 


Colum Eastwood said:


“This policy platform is unserious, unwanted and unworkable. How does Rishi Sunak think he will force kids in Northern Ireland to perform national service in the British Army or undertake ‘mandatory volunteering’ - a total contradiction in terms? 


“Public services are on their knees and public sector workers in our health service and schools are still out on strike fighting for a fair pay deal. How can the British Government afford at least £2.5bn for this nonsense but not stump up the cash for junior doctors or classroom assistants or school bus drivers? It’s absolutely perverse and it’s all about winning back voters in England who have abandoned the Conservatives.


“Voters here will see right through it and understand that this is exactly why we need strong, vocal MPs at Westminster to call this out and vote it down.”

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