Tory austerity agenda threatening economic recovery - McGuinness
Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said the Tory austerity agenda is threatening the green shoots of recovery in the North.
Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce event in Belfast, Mr McGuinness said;
"There are some signs of green shoots of economic recovery with more businesses reporting increased domestic orders and recruitment intentions.
"In the past year alone InvestNI support for businesses has helped secure nearly 14,000 new jobs, which will be created across a range of industries over the coming three to five years, delivering over £300 million of salaries annually to the local economy.
"However, we are facing into a political and financial crisis that has been inflicted upon us by the economic policies of the Conservative government in Westminster.
"The previous Tory led government stripped £1.5 billion from the public service budget of the Executive. They proposed to save more money at the expense of the most vulnerable under the misnomer of Welfare Reform.
"The new Tory government is planning billions of pounds more of reductions in public services and welfare benefits which will inflict devastating cuts on our society and our economy.
"You can’t take that kind of spending power out of any economy, particularly one as fragile and small as ours, and not expect there to be serious repercussions for our prospects for economic recovery.
"Austerity is bad for the community, bad for the economy and bad for business. So austerity and its imposition on our society is a serious challenge which the Executive has to deal with in the time ahead.
"I remain determined to find solutions. That remains my personal and political priority."