Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland at public sector cuts 'watershed' - Richard Ramsey

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Image caption Mr Ramsey said it was time people in Northern Ireland accepted restructuring had to happen

Northern Ireland has reached a watershed regarding decisions on public sector cuts, the Ulster Bank's chief economist has said.

Richard Ramsey said large public sector bodies should be seen as positives, but restructuring was needed.

He was speaking on the BBC's Inside Business programme.

Mr Ramsey said it was time people in Northern Ireland accepted cuts had to happen and identified the areas to implement them.

"Up until now in Northern Ireland we've almost been guilty of being fiscal austerity nimbies," he said.

"It's almost like 'we don't want to cut here, we don't want to cut the arts, we don't want to cut capital investment' - we've been saying where we don't want to cut.

"But we're at a watershed now where the reality is we have to restructure, so we have to say where we are going to cut."

Inside Business is broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster at 13:30 GMT on Sunday and 18:30 GMT on Monday.

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