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Sinn Féin set out agenda ahead of Gordon Brown meeting

1 November, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness and Finance spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin last night met with members of the party's Assembly and negotiations team in advance of this afternoon's cross party meeting with British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown in relation to a peace dividend. This follows last weeks announcement from the Irish government setting out key elements of their contribution to a peace dividend.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

"Sinn Féin was the first party to call for a substantial peace dividend. We also argued that this should be a responsibility of the Irish government as well as the British government. And we welcome the fact that progress is now being made on this issue.

"Last week the Irish government set out elements of their contribution to such a package and later on today all of the parties in the north will meet with Gordon Brown to discuss the British government's contribution.

"Sinn Féin is calling on the British government to invest £10 billion in a peace dividend over 10 years which would be used for key infrastructural projects, education and training, reversing cutbacks in public services and support for business development. We will also be making proposals with regard to the role of the Executive in relation to public finances and the need to bring forward alternatives to replace those jobs lost in manufacturing, agriculture and textile over the last decade.

"Over the last number of days all of the parties have been meeting in relation to the issue of the peace dividend. This work needs to continue. Securing a substantial peace dividend will have a crucial impact on future economic growth and it is vital that opportunities such as this one are availed of fully."ENDS

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