Ending Direct Rule
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams Speaking at the launch of a party discussion document 'Counting the cost of Direct Rule and Putting it Right' at Stormont today has said that "Direct Rule is a failure. It fails all the people of the north at every conceivable social, political and economic level. People are paid less, costs are higher and local politicians do not take the decisions which can affect any of this. British Ministers are in charge.
"The primary responsibility to change this rests with the political parties. Sinn Féin is also calling on civic and business society to work in partnership with the political parties to achieve this.
"Sinn Féin will be engaging with civic society - trade unions, business leaders, NGOs and the community and voluntary sector to give a focus and to generate a stronger momentum to the campaign to restore the political institutions and end British Direct Rule."
Mr Adams said:
"Our aim is very simple: to restore the political institutions and to put decision making back into the hands of the people of the north through the political institutions and locally elected political representatives.
"It has been over three years since the British Government suspended the Assembly and the Executive. In that time, British Direct Rule has undermined the Programme for Government and the priorities agreed by members of the last Executive and Assembly.
"Direct rule has made it impossible to manage the economy in the interests of all and has impeded the delivery of essential services on an equal basis. It has stalled the process of reform in healthcare and education and inflicted damage on the agricultural sector.
"In some cases this is partly attributable to Ministerial disengagement or incompetence. For example, Direct Rule Ministers recently overlooked the fact that we were about to lose EU Peace funding worth £140 million. But this only compounds the central problem, which is structurally inherent to Direct Rule - unaccountability.
"Direct Rule impacts negatively on the economy, agriculture, healthcare and education. Some of the specific costs of this are detailed in this document.
"We will be taking forward this discussion document and engaging with civic society, with trade unions, business leaders, NGOs and the community and voluntary sector. We will be stepping up our campaign to get the political institutions back up and running." ENDS