Budget 2013 All Ireland economic recovery
All-Ireland economic recovery
Moving towards an All-Ireland Economy
The importance of developing All-Ireland solutions to enhance economic recovery is now widely accepted. The challenge at this point is to put the necessary structures in place to achieve this. There is a vast potential in harmonised revenue raising and economic development across the island. Experience has shown that Ireland cannot reach its full potential with two competing economic systems on such a small island.
Within the North there exists a longstanding challenge in accessing full and detailed information from British Treasury officials regarding revenue, public expenditure and indeed economic development. This lack of information creates challenges when moving towards an All-Ireland economic strategy. It is a challenge that Sinn Féin is ready to address.
The majority of revenue generated within the North exits the system to the British Consolidated Fund. British Treasury policy dictates that all taxes set by Westminster but collected within Scotland, Wales and the North are handed over to the British government. In return, these areas are allocated funding that reflects expenditure on public services delivered by Westminster. It is a formula based upon population, not on any consideration of needs or requirements within the North.
Sinn Féin has continually challenged the British government to devolve full fiscal powers to the Northern Assembly. Securing
this will improve the situation for all the people of Ireland and will open up the possibility of a full and detailed all-Ireland Economic Strategy.
The border acts as a barrier to investment and growth. Sinn Féin is advocating an all-island strategy to stimulate economic growth and provision.
Enhancing public service provision across Ireland
The current austerity approaches being taken by both the British and Irish governments have created a situation in which cost-cutting programmes have resulted in a cumulative reduction in public expenditure. These cuts in public expenditure impact across all aspects of service provision and have the most serious impacts on not only the most vulnerable people, but on the most vulnerable regions, which in Ireland are predominantly along the border. There are opportunities to maximise resources with the aim of improving both the level and quality of services provided to all the people of Ireland. A proper strategy that outlines new ways of coordinating public services is required.
Sinn Féin proposes:
- The development of an all-Ireland health service provision plan with an emphasis on cross-border provision to accelerate the sharing of certain acute hospital, community health and general medical services
- Enhancing the Single Energy Market approach to take full advantage of renewable wind, wave and biomass CHP energy and retain the benefits of the Single Electricity Market
- Stronger North-South coordination on treated water in infrastructure upgrades that are being progressed North and South
- Greater coordination throughout the higher education sector, with an emphasis on shared resources and enhanced student experience. This would include a focus on developing student enterprise and the shared development of specialist courses and resources, as well as enhanced coordination of research and development
- Facilitating infrastructure upgrades across Ireland that are planned jointly