Gerry Adams says NI Spending Review cuts 'unacceptable'


Cuts faced by Northern Ireland as part of the government's Spending Review are "unacceptable", Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said.

Mr Adams said Chancellor George Osborne showed "the awful ignorance of a British Tory minister in dictating how people here should live".

The government should be "stimulating, not slashing" the economy, he said.

Mr Adams urged a recall of the assembly from its half-term break next week for an emergency sitting.

"This is unacceptable, our party is up for fighting it and for moving forward in a constructive way with all the other parties," he said.

"We want a consensus on that, based on the propositions we have put forward, and we are open to other propositions as well."

Next steps

Last week, Sinn Fein put forward a package of savings and revenue-generating ideas which it said could save £1.9bn.

While DUP leader Peter Robinson dismissed some aspects of the plan as "completely off-the-wall", he said there may be room for some agreement.

Ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive meet on Friday to discuss their next steps.

Northern Ireland's Department of Finance is at odds with the Treasury over the extent of the cuts.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson arrived at an overall figure of £4bn by taking annual reductions in the Northern Ireland grant in each of the next four years and adding them together

The Treasury says the cut is less than half of that - it arrives at its figure by comparing the NI grant for this financial year to what it will be in 2014/15.

Politicians in Northern Ireland have widely condemned the cuts, described by Secretary of State Owen Paterson as "a quite remarkable deal".

Asked about NI politicans' reactions, he said: "I don't know what planet they're living on."