Autumn Statement 'Won't Even Touch The Sides' In NI – SDLP

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement "won't even begin to touch the sides of abject need in communities across Northern Ireland", SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said.

The Foyle MP said that after more than a decade of pay restraint, austerity and cuts to public services that people know the best way to change their circumstances is to get rid of this Tory government.

Colum Eastwood MP said: "It's hard to bear the whooping and hollering of Tory MPs as if they've delivered some magical cure to the challenges facing working people when the truth is that the greatest source of financial stress and immediate pressure on households across our communities is thirteen long years of Tory government.

"Pay restraint, austerity, the decimation of public and community based services have been the hallmarks of consecutive conservative governments. But now they expect to sit back and be congratulated for changes to national insurance that will be balanced out for most by the bleak financial outlook. The Tories may desperately want it but there's been no outbreak of Economic-Stockholm-Syndrome in places like Derry, Belfast or Newry.

"No new support for people hammered by the cost of living crisis, no new ideas to maximise the benefits of dual market access for Northern Ireland, nothing that reflects the unique challenges facing people here.

"People aren't stupid and they won't be taken in by the thin veneer of spin on this statement. The best way that working people can change their circumstances is to get rid of this government."

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