Robinson in warning over spending cuts
British government austerity measures could plunge Northern Ireland into a prolonged recession, its First Minister Peter Robinson said yesterday.
The North, traditionally reliant on handouts from London, faces new responsibilities after its executive this year took charge of justice matters and as it battles an upsurge in violence by dissident republicans.
Britain's coalition government has vowed to slash spending to drive down a deficit of around 11pc of national output, but the Unionist leader said the Conservative Party's austerity measures would cut North public spending by 20 to 25pc.
"I (have) warned that cuts in public expenditure were unavoidable but that supporting the Tory/UUP proposals for severe cuts rather than a more gradual approach would endanger economic recovery," Mr Robinson said.