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Sinn Féin to discuss draft Budget with Ian Pearson

4 December, 2003

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson, Mid Ulster MLA Cllr Francie Molloy speaking ahead of meeting British direct rule Finance Minister Ian Pearson has warned the British government that it should not be talking crucial decisions above the heads of locally elected representatives.

Mr Molloy said:

"Sinn Féin will be making it clear to Ian Pearson that not only was it wrong to issue a draft programme for government and to expect consultation on it to be completed on the very day that election results are announced but that it is nothing less than a denial of democracy.

"Direct Rule Ministers have no right to slip this blueprint for government through under the cover of an election campaign. What right do they have to set the agenda for the new Assembly before that Assembly has even been elected?

"It is the business of locally elected representatives to decide what their priorities will be for the next three years. It is not the business of the Secretary of State to decide those priorities for them.

"Sinn Féin have called on the British government to withdraw immediately this consultation document ˆ we need to create the space so that the priorities determined by locally elected representatives and the communities they represent can set the agenda." ENDS

Note to Editors

Francie Molloy and Economy Spokesperson Dr Dara O'Hagan will meet Ian Pearson tomorrow, Friday 5th December at 2.45pm, at Castle Buildings.

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