N. Ireland Politics

Sammy Wilson attacks 'irresponsible voices' on cuts

Sammy Wilson
Image caption Sammy Wilson condemned "irresponsible voices" on the issue of cuts

The finance minister Sammy Wilson has said some of his executive colleagues need a "reality check" about the prospect of forthcoming budget cuts.

Last week, Sinn Fein MLA Mitchel McLaughlin said that the executive should not just "roll over" but should fight proposed reductions.

However, Mr Wilson said all politicians needed to be realistic.

He added: "Everyone is going to feel the pinch of what is coming down the line over the next number of years."

The Comprehensive Spending Review on 20 October is expected to mean a cut of up to £2bn in the NI budget.

On Tuesday, the first minister Peter Robinson said the reductions made difficult decisions inevitable and that Northern Ireland faced a prolonged recession as a result.

His comments prompted a swift intervention from Sinn Fein which said it would not agree to implementing "British Tory cuts".

Mr McLaughlin said the executive should work with the Scottish and Welsh administrations to identify a united approach.

However, speaking on the Politics Show on BBC1 on Sunday, Mr Wilson referred to "irresponsible voices" and said any plan to defy the Westminster government was unrealistic.

"We have got a problem. Let's approach it in a constructive way so that the pain - and there will be pain - is minimised for people."