Automatic Assisted Area Status Withdrawl Unacceptable - Flanagan
Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson Phil Flanagan has criticised the proposal by the British government to amend the Industrial Development Act (1982) and withdraw automatic entitlement to Assisted Area Status for the North. The changes would mean that the north would be broken down into sub-regions and only some of them may qualify for regional aid post-2013.
Mr Flanagan said:
“This proposal is unacceptable and flies in the face of existing commitments from the British government on rebalancing our economy by growing the private sector, potential reductions to corporation tax and designating the North as an Enterprise Zone .
“This will be seen by many as another attempt by the British government to further reduce its financial committments to the North. It is obvious that the sooner we take all fiscal powers from the British government into local control and construct an all-Ireland economy which we can design ourselves the better.
“The economic reality is that the British government has no interest in addressing the economic problems particular to this area. We need to take contriol of our own economic destiny.
“People living here are affected by higher costs of living, higher energy costs and higher levels of deprivation and poverty than people in Britain. We also have lower wages and higher rates of long term unemployment.
“The supposed purpose of this proposal is to remove regional anomalies, but taking no account of the devastating impact it will have here.
“Our future lies in economic policies drawn up specifically for the island of Ireland, detached from British Exchequer and which are designed only with the fiscal stability of the island of Britain in mind. CRÍOCH/ENDS