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McLaughlin welcomes Joint Business Council call for convergence on North-South infrastructure

6 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the call by the Joint Business Council (JBC) of the Northern and Southern Business confederations - IBEC and CBI - for convergence on North-South infrastructure spend.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"I welcome the call by the JBC for the convergence of North-South infrastructure spend, as part of the strategy to deliver increased productivity, innovation and exports and to attract high quality jobs.

"The JBC - the representatives of business across the island - has now joined high profile spokespersons from banking, health services and the education sector publicly stating their opinion that the road to success is through convergence of investment strategies on an all-Ireland basis.

"The revelation that the Irish government intends to invest in transport infrastructure at an annual rate of £880 per head of population, compared with £220 under the North's investment strategy shows in stark terms how much catching up with the rest of the island we have to do.

"I would urge all of the Executive Ministers to use the opportunities presented to them through the NSMC to explore with their Dublin counterparts ways and means of eliminating duplication and replication of services. Not only could this envisage the convergence on infrastructure spend suggested by the JBC but could cover other areas of spending such as access to educational and medical facilities at the closest point of delivery. It is being recognised across the business and investment sector that the most obvious way for the North to catch up economically with the rest of the island is through joint planning and delivery of services and infrastructural development." ENDS

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