Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Stability of Executive based on partnership

29 October, 2008


Sinn Féin economy spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA commenting on an open letter from business leaders has said that the key to providing a strategic response to the economic challenges facing us is stability in the Executive.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Sinn Fein recognise the scale of challenges facing our economy and the need for a decisive response. The construction industry is in real difficulties, the skills deficit is widening, the housing market is in trouble and people across the north are facing genuine hardship.

"The key to providing a strategic response is stability in the Executive. However, under the leadership of Peter Robinson the DUP has retreated from the partnership agreements that allowed us to take the step forward that saw the return of the institutions. Unless the leadership of the DUP recognise this problem then there will only be instability.

"The impact of the global economic downturn and with it the rises in costs of food, fuel, electricity and gas on ordinary households and businesses is an issue which requires the attention of all Ministers. On September 14th Martin McGuinness wrote to Peter Robinson outlining a number of initiatives I believe can make a difference.

"The proposals included an indefinite deferral of domestic contributions towards water and sewerage services; an emergency fund to address fuel poverty; making the redirection of departmental spending efficiencies and unspent money across all Departments a priority in the September Monitoring Round; a Ministerial sub-group on anti-poverty; Commissioning a bulk buying scheme for oil; Piloting renewable energy schemes in government buildings; and Convening roundtable meetings with the social partners.

"I believe that working with all of the stakeholders that we can use our resources and take decisions that can reduce the impact of economic challenges we face. On many of the key issues identified by those from the construction industry and other economic sectors as well as our social partners there is agreement.

"This includes the roll-out of capital projects from the Investment Strategy and economic regeneration projects such as the Maze/Long Kesh and Crumlin Road Jail. Sadly some of these have been held up by politicking inside the DUP. This goes to the heart of the problems we are facing with the DUP approach to the Executive. We cannot have key decisions such as the one required on the Maze/Long Kesh held up because the DUP want try and demonstrate to their supporters that they can be bloody minded when it comes to Sinn Fein.

"Stability and partnership are required. That is the challenge that we must collectively overcome if we are to put the Executive on a sound footing and enable it to respond to the economic changes we face." ENDS

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