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"Ministers must examine all possible financial options" - McCorley

3 December, 2013 - by Rosie McCorley

Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast, Rosie McCorley has called on Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton and Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster to examine all financial options including transfer of maximum fiscal responsibilities. Ms McCorley made her call following Arlene Foster's dismissive response in the Assembly to a question on transfer of additional financial powers.

The Sinn Féin MLA said:

"It is unacceptable that Ministers who have financial responsibilities, take a 'too costly' or 'it will come at a cost', approach to proposals on transfer of fiscal responsibilities, without any concrete evidence to support their claims.

“Ms Foster’s stock and, may I say, lazy answer that transfer of additional powers would come at a cost, is typical of DUP slogan politics which they seem to believe is a substitute for properly researched and costed policy.

"The DETI Minister displays the same degree of lack of any ambition or self-confidence as her party colleague, Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton exhibited when he declared recently that in his opinion it would be 'unwise to seek devolution of any other substantial tax'.

"It appears that DUP Ministers are incapable of showing any imagination or ambition when it comes to plotting our economic future. Don’t they realise that only when we take responsibility for as much of our own affairs as is possible will we be able to design economic and social policies fit for the special circumstances pertaining here.

 "We cannot continue to administer decisions taken by Mandarins in Whitehall who have no understanding of the needs of our economy.

"The Minister on the one hand states that she has no power to mitigate the worst effects of interest rates on our economy and on the other refuses to examine alternative proposals on acquiring the tools to design our own fiscal policies because it might come at a cost. It is not sufficient for the Minister to deflect blame for her inadequacies on Whitehall while she is unwilling to seek the instruments that would allow us more flexibility in combatting Westminster’s austerity policies and invest in jobs, growth and the economy.”

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