Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said the budget announced by British Chancellor Philip Hammond does not end austerity cuts to public services, as claimed by the British government.
Caoimhe Archibald said:
“It is quite clear that British government are engaging in spin and smoke and mirrors.
“Austerity cuts to frontline public services will continue.
“We needed a three per cent increase in our resource budget just to stand still but that was not delivered in this budget. And there is no sign of the £1bn removed from our block grant over the past eight years being replaced.
“Once you strip away the spin, the fact is the Executive’s budget for everyday spending will not even keep pace with inflation.
“In real terms this means no extra money to meet the growing demands on the Health service which needs a 6% increase just to stand still.
“It means no extra resources to end the financial crisis in our schools.
“It means no extra resources for the pay increase that our teachers, public servants and other frontline workers deserve.
“Ultimately it means any so-called increases will at best be used to plug cuts.”