Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Dialogue between Parties essential to political and economic stability

14 February, 2007


Sinn Féin General Secretary and South Antrim Assembly election candidate Mitchel McLaughlin has said that dialogue and discourse between the parties, especially between the DUP and Sinn Féin is the single absolutely essential step-change required to achieve political and economic stability.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"While the DUP intentions following the elections are still uncertain one thing is crystal clear - people support locally accountable government. It is only in the institutions voted for by the people in the GFA that we can effectively address the issues that affect day-to-day life.

"Every party, including the DUP have claimed opposition to water charges. They have also voiced opposition to the massive increase in the Regional rates, Rural Planning policy, closure of rural schools, health and education cuts, lack of investment in infrastructure and a sluggish and under-developed private sector.

"Entering an Executive based on electoral mandates is the only way that we can hope to agree an all-party approach to the negotiations with the British Treasury. This is a pre-requisite if we are to secure an adequate financial package to rectify the decades of failure and neglect by successive Direct Rule Administrations in key infrastructure such as Roads, schools, hospitals and indeed water services.

"We will not reinvigorate the economy by allowing unaccountable British Ministers to drive more and more people into poverty by punitive service charges and rates hikes. There is an onus on the DUP- the only party yet to commit to power sharing arrangements - to stop playing petty politics on these issues and get on with delivering.

"Are the DUP so afraid of the weakness of their constitutional position and arguments that they are prepared to abandon the people to the Whitehall centred fiscal policies of the Exchequer rather than accept their responsibilities to govern alongside Sinn Féin.

"A commitment to a power-sharing Executive will immediately pressurise the British Government to respond to the Economic imperatives in a more realistic manner. The Six-Counties Economy is failing, the British Government are aware that an incoming Executive will require the necessary additional financial resources to bring about Economic regeneration. Political dialogue and discourse between the parties, especially between the DUP and Sinn Féin is the single absolutely essential step-change required to achieve political and economic stability." ENDS

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