Stephen Farry said: “David Cameron and his unionist friends just don’t get it. There is widespread agreement that the public sector is relatively too large and we must grow our private sector in return.
“Most people understand there difficult spending decisions have to be made over the lifespan of the next parliament so that we can re-balance. The problem with the Tories is the scale and the timing of their proposed cuts.
“There is no point in David Cameron stressing that all parts of the UK will share equally in the pain. The Tories miss the critical point that due to the disproportionately large public sector in Northern Ireland, the proposed cuts will therefore have a much bigger impact in this area. Any loss of public sector jobs will have ramifications on consumer spending throughout the economy through a negative multiplier effect.
“There is a danger that Northern Ireland could suffer a double dip recession on its own while the rest of the UK economy recovers. After 40 years of violence and division Northern Ireland needs the time and opportunity to put its own house in order. The policies advocated by Mr Cameron are set to deny us that opportunity and will have the effect of leaving Northern Ireland as the most dependent region of the UK, contradicting the very outcomes that the Conservatives want to achieve.”