ERINI report contains positives to offset hardship
Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast and vice chair of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee, Jennifer McCann, commenting on the ERINI report Mitigating the Recession said:
"While there are a number of proposals that would have an negative impact on people's current economic situation, such as the phasing out of the freezing of domestic rates, free travel for the elderly and free prescription charges, some of the proposals put forward in this report are very positive.
"The bringing forward of Capital Projects in the same way the Scottish Assembly brought forward £230 million of capital projects into 2009/2010 would go a long way to help offset job losses in the construction and other industries and create a stimulus for the economy as a whole.
"Another proposal for a single electricity contract for the public sector would mean that organisations such as the Housing Executive could purchase electricity at wholesale price and then sell it onto their tenants at a lower cost than they are currently paying thus helping to tackle fuel poverty.
"Advancing payments for businesses who are delivering on public procurement contracts and maintaining the pressure on banks to expand their credit and lending facilities would help businesses overcome their cash flow problems.
"This report offers some positive options for the Executive to offset job losses and to help those who are currently experiencing financial difficulties.
"There is no new money available so we need to be innovative in how we deliver public spending programmes."