14/07/2004

Hermon demands clarification on civil service cuts

Ulster Unionist Home Affairs spokesperson Lady Sylvia Hermon has expressed her “total dismay” at Chancellor Gordon Brown’s announcement of swingeing cuts in the regional civil service.

Speaking following Monday’s Comprehensive Spending Review announcement, the North Down MP said: “When the civil service pay dispute has dragged on for so long and civil servants felt that things couldn’t get much worse, out of the blue came the announcement that 20,000 jobs were to go within the regional civil services of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“I think we would all agree that text messaging is an appalling way to make people redundant but what is the difference between that and the insensitivity of the Chancellor standing up in the House of Commons and without any qualms or any hesitation bluntly announcing that more than 100,000 jobs were going to be axed?”

Lady Hermon announced that she would be “seeking urgent clarification" from Secretary of State Paul Murphy on the exact size and nature of the cuts in Northern Ireland, and how he expects front line services to be affected.

She added: "In addition, I have sought an early meeting with John Corey, NIPSA’s General Secretary, to discuss how best to tackle this further deterioration in relations between the Government and civil servants.”

(GB)


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