Direct focus needs to be placed on social economy sector as economic drive - McCann
Sinn Féin MLA, Jennifer McCann, who is also the chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee in the Assembly, has stated that a specific focus must be maintained on the social economy sector as a key economic driver, especially in disadvantaged areas.The Sinn Féin motion on this issue was today passed by the Assembly.
Speaking today to a motion in the Assembly today Ms McCann said:
“Given the current economic recession our priority must be to protect jobs and create new job opportunities while building a sustainable economy. While of course there is are more than one area which we need to examine in terms of economic recovery, the social economy sector must be central to any proposals.
"There are over 1,200 social enterprises throughout the north and they employ over 20,000 people.
"They are businesses whose profits, instead of going to owners or directors, are reinvested into the local community which, in turn, regenerates those communities ensuring economic growth in disadvantaged areas.
"Therefore investment in the Social Economy Sector, giving the sector the resources they need to sustain themselves in the short term, and looking at new and innovative ways to develop and grow the sector in the long term, can and must be an integral part of any economic programme.
"The benefits of this approach cannot be ignored. Social economy projects are becoming strategic players in delivering important social policy outcomes. They tackle disadvantage and drive innovation, and create employment opportunities.
“As a key part of this approach we must therefore have public procurement procedures suitably tailored to be accessible by this sector allowing further growth of these industries.”
Rún/Motion - Investing in the Social Economy
That this Assembly recognises the positive contribution that the social economy makes to growing the economy, creating employment opportunities and regenerating communities; and calls on the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to ensure that the social economy remains a priority and that it is given adequate financial investment, resources and support.