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Job creation and dynamic public services are key priorities for Sinn Féin

27 April, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP is in Waterford City today to launch the party’s all-Ireland job creation and enterprise document.  He will be accompanied by the party’s representative for the city, Councillor David Cullinane. During his visit he will meet with the local Chamber of Commerce, Students and Director of Waterford Institute of Technology and local Trades Union representatives. Mr. McGuinness said that creating high quality jobs and dynamic public services would be key priorities in government for Sinn Féin.

Mr. McGuinness said:

“Sinn Féin is a republican party. We are the only all-Ireland party. Through the Assembly, the Dáil and the all-Ireland bodies, Sinn Féin has successfully promoted economic development in an all-Ireland context. Our goal is to see a united Ireland, which delivers real social and economic change.
”The last decade has been a time of enormous economic growth in this state. During this time, more and more businesses emerged, more jobs were created and life improved for many people - although there are many questions about quality of life issues and the widening gap between rich and poor. There is a fundamental issue of how we use the wealth we now enjoy.

”The peace process played a critical role at a critical time in enhancing the opportunities for economic progress. It changed how people looked at Ireland, it changed politics and it opened up many opportunities.  These are all things we need to build on in the time ahead.  And of course the restoration of  the political institutions will be vital to ongoing economic development right across the island. 

“Sometime over the next 18 months the electorate will choose a new government.  Sinn Féin is about making our vision for Irish society a reality and as part of this we are setting out our policy platform for bringing this about on issues like Irish unity, public services and today we are talking about enterprise and job creation.  This is about offering a real alternative to that of the other parties who are only variations on the current government strategy which is failing to deliver.


“Sinn Féin is involved in politics to bring about change in the here and now.  We want real improvement in the lives of the people we represent throughout Ireland.  Our policy is about building a just economy, dynamic public services and an enterprise culture that would see business development across the island.


“Central to our enterprise policy is small business development and encouraging new entrepreneurs throughout the island.  The fact is that locally owned enterprises are crucial to the growth of the Irish economy.  They provide the majority of employment and are more geographically dispersed and regionally balanced than foreign-owned enterprise.  In the last six months the departure of foreign owned companies from Ireland for cheaper labour in Eastern Europe and the Far East has been a recurring industrial theme.  Locally based enterprises, rooted in the community are an important safeguard against the vagaries of international capital. 


“Among our key proposals are all-Ireland schemes for Research and Development, entrepreneurship, enterprise clusters and networks such as those in Waterford IT and the South East, education and training along with a single currency and tax regime on the island. We would establish one stop shops to assist small businesses, introduce tax incentives for firms carrying out Research and Development, streamline regulatory requirements and eliminate red tape. We would also ensure that colleges build local relationships with businesses and deepen those already existing.  Here in Waterford Sinn Féin has been to the fore in supporting the demand for University Status because it will be key to long term job creation.


“For the first time ever these national strategies would bring together government, employers, unions and third level instructions to plan the coming years of growth.


“Business also needs infrastructure for sustainable economic growth and we believe that there is a central role for the public sector particularly in the transport, telecommunications, energy and education sectors.  We need to urgently invest in these sectors to guarantee years of high quality job creation in Ireland.


“I believe that politicians, employers and workers all share some common ground, especially in the recognition that we all have a responsibility to do what we can together to meet the many economic and social needs we face. That is my message here in Waterford today.”ENDS


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