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Programme for Government only as good as its’ implementation

26 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Equality Spokesperson, Foyle MLA Martina Anderson speaking ahead of an Assembly debate on the draft Programme for Government and Investment Strategy has said that the Executive will be judged on how it succeeds in addressing inequalities and tackling regional imbalance.

Ms Anderson said:

"The commitments in the Programme for Government to tackle disadvantage and to 'build an inclusive and stable society based on equality' are welcome.

"Key to this is the recognition that 'the challenge for all of us today is to develop new measures that will address existing patterns of socio-economic disadvantage and target resources and effort towards those in greatest objective need'.

"This Programme for Government more than acknowledges, in its priority objectives, that along with economic growth and competitiveness, the importance of building of a society based on partnership, equality, inclusion, regional balance and mutual respect and the urgent need to address environmental sustainability.

"We must lift the boats of the disadvantaged, the vulnerable in society, the marginalized and excluded, whatever community people may come from. Without good housing and health, jobs or transport 'the rift tide' will continue to deny our potential, and boats, as before, will remain holed, sinking.

"Those who argued that 'a rising tide would lift all boats', imposed at a terrible human cost the wastage of people, the waste of their resourcefulness, their innovation and their human potential.

"We need to apply clear criteria upon which to judge our success. We need to ensure that we will judge the success of this Executive, and our people will judge it too, on the basis of the extent to which we succeed in addressing inequalities and tackling regional imbalance." ENDS

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