Sinn Féin Spokesperson on poverty, North Belfast MLA Kathy Stanton speaking at an Anti-Poverty Conference St Kevin's Hall in Belfast today, organised by the community and voluntary sector to launch its 'Enough is Enough' anti-poverty campaign has said that tackling poverty is essential in building a peaceful future.
Ms Stanton said:
"Tackling poverty and inequality in the north of Ireland is essential in building a peaceful future for all the people on the island of Ireland. Extra resources and fairer taxation and distribution are key elements that must be applied.
"Above all, what is required is political will, the key ingredient that has been lacking to date.
"It is frustrating that government has shied away from any kind of meaningful, radical solution, preferring to tinker around the edges and, perhaps more worryingly, to manipulate and misrepresent the true nature of poverty and the legacy of.
"Sinn Fein's view, shared by many organisations and individuals working in this area, is that the issues of poverty and inequality are inseparable.
"Despite the rhetoric, equality issues are marginalised instead of being a central thread.
"Sinn Fein's recent launch of the Green Paper for Irish Unity reflects the logic of an All Ireland approach. The continued existence of the border is an impediment to the social and economic development of communities throughout Ireland. This is articulated in the EU Community Initiative Programme - INTERREG, which states:
"The Northern Ireland/Ireland Border remains a social and psychological barrier which is an impediment to the exchange of ideas and information and is a barrier to the effective co-operation and development of effective strategies".