Page last updated at 08:42 GMT, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 09:42 UK

Alliance Party warns on impact of spending cuts

Naomi Long, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland's first MP, has warned that public spending cuts will have a "disproportionate" effect in her constituency.

Making her maiden speech on 8 June 2010, Ms Long told MPs that "a very sizeable proportion of my constituents are employed in the public sector".

The MP for Belfast East said that many small businesses in her area depended on the custom of public sector workers "to stay afloat".

She warned: "If proposed cuts are too deep and too swift, and are not balanced by job creation activity, there is a serious risk of moving many of my constituents out of productive, public sector employment into the welfare system."

This would "do nothing to protect public services for the vulnerable, promote growth in the private sector, or to raise aspirations, dignity or confidence", she added.

For the SNP, Stewart Hosie warned that the government's cuts could tip the country back into recession and insisted it was not the time to be cutting "government consumption".

Mr Hosie said: "We should not be going down the route of the Canadian model, which was 20% public service cuts over three years. We should again look at the New Zealand model, which gave the flexibility to tackle the deficit and the debt over the medium term."

He also urged MPs to back his party's amendment calling on the government to scrap Trident, which he said would mean "huge savings" for the UK.

Watch the first half of the debate here.


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