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Sinn Féin Dáil leader welcomes publication of all-Ireland Economic Blueprint

26 October, 2006

Sinn Fein Dáil leader and Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has welcomed the publication by British and Irish governments of an all-Ireland Economic Blueprint. He said that the significance of the report lay in the fact that it sets out a clear and strong economic rationale for the development of an all-Ireland economy.

Ó Caoláin said, "The publication of an all-Ireland economic study by the British and Irish Governments today is a very significant development. It marks a definitive move away from the 'back-to back' approach to economic and socio economic development which has been pursued since partition. The logic of an all-Ireland economy has long been clear and Sinn Fein has been pressing both governments to pursue economic development on an all-Ireland basis for years. The disastrous effects of partition for the 6 counties and for the border region is clear for all to see.

"The significance of this report lies in the fact that it sets out a clear and strong economic rationale for the development of an all-Ireland economy. In particular I welcome the identification in the study of enhanced co-operation in the provision of health and educational services as an area for particular co-ordinated policy interventions. This has the potential to make a huge difference in the daily lives of people living in the border region.

"As part of the development of an all-Ireland economy the present fiscal, legislative and labour market disparities must also be addressed. These include the still very considerable barriers to mobility within labour forces with differing social security; personal taxation and benefit arrangements in place on either side of the border.

"As already stated by my party colleague Mitchel McLaughlin this blueprint must be supported by a substantial financial commitment from both governments, something we have been pressing relentlessly for. Sinn Féin continues to argue that a £10 billion 10 year Peace Dividend to support the creation of 140,000 jobs and major investment in infrastructure is required from the British Government, with a further significant investment required from Dublin." ENDS

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