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de Brún calls for end to credit drought

11 May, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún speaking at Business Agenda Hustings event in the Europa Hotel today has said that despite billion being poured into the banking system there is no guarantee that our businesses that deserve support can access the cash flow they need.     The MEP also called for greater fiscal powers for local politicians in the north. She said that we need to be able to target specific support; to vary tax rates; to raise revenue fairly to finance our choices to suit our requirements.     Ms de Brún also called for a stronger partnership between employers, trade unions and politicians.     The event ‘Business Agenda for NI Economic Questions & Answers’ was organised by the CBI, the Institute of Directors, Chamber of Commerce NI, the NI Independent Retail Trade Association and the Food & Drink Association.     Ms de Brun said:     “Billions have been poured into the banking system yet business, homeowners and potential buyers still face a credit drought. There is no guarantee that our businesses, who deserve the support, can access the cash flow they need to come through this time and look to the future.     “Thankfully, there is some flexibility with the European Investment Bank, and the likes EU Economic Recovery Plan, but we need the message coming from everyone – from Europe and locally; that we need sensible lending to support our local firms.     “We have much going for us. Our industriousness; an agriculture and agri food sector which produces top quality goods; a rich heritage; and the potential of our tourism, of our ability to generate green energy, and a growing but still largely untapped potential in innovation and IT     “We need to harness these positives. We need a renewed focus on developing and growing our local businesses – on turning them into exporters and market leaders -and on bringing financial institutions into supporting these efforts.     “Yes, more than £1 billion has been re-prioritised within the Executive Budget through the in-year monitoring rounds with infrastructure projects being front loaded. Yes, we are seeing local firms gaining more success at competing for government contracts.     “But in the Assembly and Executive we need to be able to target specific support; to vary tax rates; to raise revenue fairly to finance our choices to suit our requirements.     “We need to maximise the opportunities available through the EU to support our construction sector; to improve access to broadband; and to maximise the opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency as a way of boosting the local economy and tackling fuel poverty and climate change.     “We need to build up our skills base and develop an even stronger partnership between ourselves and the rest of Ireland; ourselves and the rest of Europe; and between our trades unions, our politicians our businesses and our employers.” ENDS

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