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Brian Lenihan remarks on cross border shopping affecting his budget short sighted

16 October, 2008

Sinn Féin Economic spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA has called on the Minister of Finance, Brian Lenihan, to examine ways of enhancing and all Ireland focused economy instead of making off the cuff remarks around shopping in the north affecting the Irish budget.

Speaking today Mr McLaughlin said:

Instead of the Minister of Finance, Brian Lenihan, making off-the-cuff excuses that shopping in the north is costing the Irish exchequer so much that it has had a serious effect on framing the latest budget he should re-evaluate his governments poor economic policies and fiscal priorities.

"The Minister of Finance should be now be examining ways of cross border co-operation and the establishment of an all Ireland focused economy.

"A small island with a population of just over 5 million people cannot develop successful economic strategies on the basis of economic division. The result of doing so is duplication leading to an inefficient, ineffective and unequal economy characterised by high levels of economic inactivity, poverty and inequality.

"Neglect of all-Ireland economic opportunities is costing us all money every day. The only way to truly transform the economy across the island of Ireland is to set it in the context of an island-wide strategy for development and regeneration. This means the harmonisation of key services, entitlements and prospects in this field.

"To succeed, any economic development strategy must, at a minimum, remove the barriers to north/south business development and trade and to cross-border working mobility." ENDS

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