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Northern Ireland hit hardest by public sector cuts

Public sector cuts will hit Northern Ireland the hardest, according to new analysis by the TUC. Scotland will also lose a high proportion of its workforce over the next few years.

Northern Ireland is set to lose 26,000 public sector jobs by 2017, and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) called for strong action to avoid this fate. The draft Programme for Government has pledged to promote 25,000 new jobs.

ICTU assistant general secretary Peter Bunting said: “This analysis proves the inadequacy of that modest ambition. Even if achieved, the Programme for Government target will run 1,000 jobs short of the expected cull in public sector jobs.

“There are serious consequences from these policies. Thousands more jobs in the private sector would go if our fragile economy were to see so much demand sucked out of the market.”

In Scotland, over 70,000 jobs are at threat over the next five years, which corresponds to 2.8% of the country’s workforce.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “For the 2.6 million people currently without work, their prospects of finding a job look ever harder, and with thousands of jobs set to go across our public services while private sector job creation stagnates, the picture is set to get much, much worse.

“Apart from the huge effect that the job cuts will have upon the provision of public services across the UK, mass redundancies across the public sector are bad news for our struggling economy, and will have a devastating impact upon local high streets, as newly-unemployed public sector workers simply stop spending.

“The Government needs to devote much more time and energy towards solving our growing jobs crisis. Instead it's making the problem worse, cutting jobs in the public sector and failing to secure growth to protect private sector employees.”

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