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Peace Dividend must underpin work of any new Executive

22 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Vice President, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that a Peace Dividend Fund must tackle the legacy of under investment and discrimination and disadvantage and is vital in underpinning the ability of any new Executive to deliver on the ground.

Mr Doherty said:

"The British government have neglected our infrastructure for over thirty years. There is a legacy of under investment across every part of our infrastructure - our roads, schools, hospitals, railways and sewerage. There is also a damming legacy of discrimination, inequality and disadvantage that must be tackled.

"The solution is not for the British government to put a greater tax burden on people here through the water charges and increases in rates but for the British government to accept that it has a responsibility to compensate for this under investment and to underpin work of any new Executive.

"There needs to be a genuine Peace Dividend to support the work of any new Executive and its ability to deliver on the ground. Sinn Fein have consistently put the demand for a genuine peace dividend at the top of the agenda. During the lifetime of the Executive it was only Sinn Féin that argued for a radical challenge to the Barnett formula and in the current negotiations Sinn Fein have made it clear that there should a genuine peace dividend.

"The British government need to commit to a significant peace dividend so that any new Executive can effectively address the legacy of conflict and division in our community by tackling inequality, deprivation and under funding. The mistakes made by the UUP and the SDLP in agreeing to water charges and increased rates must be reversed."ENDS

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