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People Before Profit launch election manifesto

2023-06-01 15:53:28 source:CBS News author:Press center3 click:732order

People Before Profit has called for all council services in Northern Ireland to be brought back into public control, including leisure and recycling.

The party has also said it will support trade union demands for inflation-busting pay rises for council workers.

The proposals are contained in the party's manifesto, which was launched in Belfast on Tuesday.

They are running a record 15 candidates in the local government election on 18 May.

The party is hoping to add to the five seats it won in 2019.

Fiona Ferguson, who is standing again for Belfast City Council, said the party was offering a "radically different vision".

"We think the way our councils have been run for the past number of decades by the big parties has been to the detriment of local communities, local services and workers in our councils," she said.

"All we're simply looking to do is restore what has been cut away from our local communities, we would like to bring our services back in house… that our workers are getting a basic above inflation pay rise - that should be the minimum.

"Our councils and Stormont have just been implementing Tory austerity with no complaints from the big parties.

"We don't think it's right, we don't think it should continue and People Before profit are providing an opposition to that.

"We don't buy the myth that the money is not there, there are millions of pounds in Belfast City council that we are told we're not allowed to touch, to help people stave off price hikes.

"We don't agree with it, we don't buy it, we're exposing it and we are challenging it."

In its 15-page manifesto the party sets out its plan to improve council services including expanded cleansing services and recycling provision.

The party's proposals also include blocking the privatisation of other council services, ending expenditure on private consultants and reforming the rates system to link it to higher earnings and profits.

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