Commenting on the latest financial surveys indicating that the average family here exists on a disposable income of just over 50% of those in Britain, Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Daithí McKay has said it is time to demand maximum fiscal powers be transferred to the Assembly.
Daithí McKay said:
“Two survey’s just published by supermarket giant Asda’s ‘Income Tracker’ and Ulster Bank’s ‘Purchasing Managers Index’ (PMI) demonstrate once more the fact that economic policies created in London are not working for the population here.
“Asda’s Income Tracker shows that families in the North exist on an income of just over 50% of that of those living in Britain while the PMI shows a continuing decline in business performance.
“The lack of fiscal powers at the Executive limits our ability to address these trends and tackle the economic crisis.Without the necessary fiscal tools we are simply reduced to redistributing an ever decreasing Block Grant.
“We need serious commitment from the British Government to the transfer of these fiscal tools to the Assembly if we are to design fit for purpose economic policies for the benefit of our economy.
“This is the latest examples of the failure of British policies to deliver for our economy and strengthens the argument for greater economic control to be transferred into the hands of locally elected and responsible politicians. No British Government budget is about easing the burden of people in the north.
“The reality is that the Tory/Lib Dem British Government has slashed the Executive budget by around half a billion pounds on top of other cuts effecting programmes such as Social Welfare with a devastating effect on the most vulnerable in our society .
“The debate around transfer of maximum fiscal powers to the Executive involving all of the political parties needs to take place urgently. Parties that do not wholeheartedly support transfer of these economic levers need to spell out their alternative fiscal policies to mitigate against the Tory/Lib Dem austerity agenda. Without these powers how do we stimulate recovery and increase spending power.
“We are completely powerless to prevent the smash and grab tactics of the British government on our resources until we take control of our own economic destiny.
“The most effective way of controlling our economic destiny is by having the ability to generate finance and one of the essential tools to achieve this is through tax-varying powers. It is time to show self-confidence by taking responsibility for designing our own economic policies."