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Eamonn McCann launches election campaign in Foyle and endorses Harry Hutchinson for Mid Ulster

Harry has played an important role in building the left, socialist alternative in N.I. He has been a consistent and tireless campaigner in his role as a trade unionist, and health campaigner for over two decades. I am proud to endorse his candidature for the Mid- Ulster Constituency! – Eamonn McCann, Leader of the PBPA in NI and Foyle Assembly candidate

Harry Hutchinson is employed by the Belfast Health Trust working with patients suffering from mental and learning disabilities, and is also a small farmer located outside Moneymore. He was educated at Rainey Endowed School, Magherafelt and the Ulster University where he attained his degree in Health & Social Care.

Harry Hutchinson is a long standing socialist in Mid-Ulster. He is secretary of the Unite the Union branch in Cookstown and is also secretary of the Mid-Ulster Trade Union Council. Harry is the leading health campaigner in Mid-Ulster for the last decade, he has been particularly active in defending services at the Mid-Ulster Hospital.

In the 1990s Harry organised anti-sectarian workers’ strikes in Mid-Ulster against sectarian killings by Republican, Loyalist and State Forces. These strikes led to the largest anti-sectarian ,movement in N. Ireland since the 1970s. Harry also helped organise ‘Youth Against Sectarianism’, the biggest youth movement of its time, to stop young people becoming actively involved in paramilitary organisations. The aim of YAS was to divert the energy of young people towards the real issues effecting them. For example, joblessness.

Harry is a life long Anti-Nuclear campaigner and was formerly secretary of the N.I. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

If elected to the Assembly I will actively oppose the £4bn of public sector cuts to be implemented by the Unionist & Nationalist Parties. I will also oppose the huge wages & bonuses handed out to public servants who financially benefit from implementing these cuts instead I will demand proper pay increases for all public sector workers and for the retention of final year salary pensions.

The main parties in the Assembly aim further privatisation of our public services. I will use my position in the Assembly and in the trade Union movement to organise opposition to privatisation and cuts.

As a member of the N.I.C/I.C.T.U. ‘Non payment of water charges’ committee I will do everything possible to prevent the introduction of water charges in N. Ireland by the Assembly.

On the Health Service I will use my position in the Assembly to stop any further cuts, oppose any private finance initiatives, and urge the Assembly to properly fund the NHS.

As a public campaigner for free education in Northern Ireland I will continue to oppose student fees and call for the reimplementation of the Education Maintenance Allowance.

As a supporter of small businesses and small farmers in N. Ireland I will redirect funding from Invest N.I. to encourage this sector to grow.

Everyone has a right to a job that pays at least the minimum wage which is set by the EU at £8/Hour, on the basis of a 35Hr week. Those currently unemployed and those who are sick and on benefits are forced to live in poverty. According the Rowntree Trust a single rural dwelling person needs £18K/annum in order to sustain a decent standard of living. The current rate of £3250 of unemployment benefit is unacceptable.

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