Like most working class people, our family has been hit hard by the austerity agenda imposed over the last ten years by Westminster and Stormont to bail out the bankers and super-rich after the economic crisis they created.
The surge in price rises continues unabated. Official figures released in May put inflation at a rate of 2.9%, with most economists predicting further price rises this year.
While the attention of the media has been on the protracted collapse of Stormont and the aftermath of the general election, the ramifications of austerity continue unabated.
NIPSA trade union activists in the civil service are currently engaged in a struggle to defend what is known as “facility time” to continue to effectively represent their members and to engage in the internal activities necessary to the democracy of any trade union.
The two largest trade unions here – Unite and NIPSA – are holding important conferences in late May and early June which present an opportunity to rebuild meaningful industrial resistance to the austerity policies of the Tories and the Stormont Assembly.