Reaction to announcement of spending cuts plan

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The Northern Ireland Executive will have to save an extra £128m on top of other savings this year. The cuts are part of the overall package announced by the Treasury. Below is some of the reaction to the announcement...

Stephen Farry, Alliance Party

"The cuts announced today by the Treasury are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the financial challenges facing Northern Ireland.

The £130m share of £6bn will be dwarfed by greater hits over coming years.

Alliance has warned off the particular dangers of Northern Ireland being tipped back into recession in the context of steep cuts in public expenditure here before the economy has the opportunity to fully recover."

Brian Campfield, NIPSA

"Not only will these cutbacks jeopardise the potential economic recovery but they will hit the less well off in society as real reductions in the quality and scale of essential services to local communities take effect.

In Northern Ireland these cuts come on top of the £367m cuts being implemented by our own NI Executive and will severely damage the NI economy and public services generally."

David McNarry, UUP

"The Ulster Unionist Party 12 months ago said that the Programme for Government was not fit for purpose and called for it to be re-evaluated in light of our changing circumstances.

We need to re-prioritise Northern Ireland's finances immediately. There is a vast credibility gap between what this Executive has vowed to achieve and what is has actually delivered."

Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA

"The Northern Ireland Executive is now facing over half a billion in cuts to its budget as a result of the Chancellor's announcement this morning.

Our local ministers are now facing tough choices about where the axe will fall.

If the wrong decisions are made then we face the prospect of stalling our already very fragile recovery, particularly given Northern Ireland's high dependency on the public sector."

Mark Durkan, SDLP

"The most sensible option for our Executive is make any available and necessary savings they can this year and plan strategically for others next year.

However, the current situation only serves to further highlight the urgent need to look again at our own budget. Set back in 2008 the three-year Executive Budget, which the SDLP voted against, is no longer fit for purpose."

Mitchel McLaughlin, Sinn Fein

"These cuts will undoubtedly impact on our ability to manage our already overstretched budgets. A cut of £128m on top of the £393m 'efficiency savings' already imposed this year, totals over half a billion pounds out of our budget.

We now need to assess the impact of this on delivery of essential services.

Immediate strategies need to be formulated to ensure that front line services are protected and that the most vulnerable in society do not bear the brunt of these cuts."

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