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Assembly limited in ability to address increasing cost of living

11 September, 2008


Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has appealed to other parties to support increased fiscal autonomy for the Assembly.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"The local economy as is most of the developed world is experiencing severe economic conditions. While it is understandable that people direct their demands for solutions at local politicians, it needs to be recognised that the assembly has very little power to address a global economic recession.

"The Assembly unlike other governments has no tax varying powers. The amount of finance available to the Department of Finance is determined by the British Treasury. Even when the British Exchequer brings in special measures to assist people experiencing difficulties in Britain it normally does not apply to the North.

"I put a motion to the Assembly shortly after restoration that the Assembly should seek maximum fiscal autonomy from London. Unfortunately other parties did not support the Sinn Féin motion.

"I believe that if we are to be in a position to develop local solutions to local difficulties then we must take control of as much power in the local assembly as possible. I also believe that it's clear that our economic future lies in creating an all- island economy based on the needs of the peoples of Ireland.

"Not surprisingly, fiscal decisions taken by the British Chancellor are taken on the basis of what is best for the economy of the island of Britain. We are only peripheral to the decision making process in Britain and the sooner politicians here wake-up to that fact the sooner we will be able to take control of our own political and economic futures. Only then will we have the ability to create local solutions to the problems affecting our unique circumstances." ENDS

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