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Economy Minister cannot exclude wider society from Economic Advisory Group - Archibald

17 June, 2020 - by Caoimhe Archibald

Sinn Féin's Economy Spokesperson, Caoimhe Archibald MLA, has asked the Economy Minister to clarify why representatives of trade unions, SMEs, the green economy, the community sector, the agricultural sector, and academia have been excluded from the Minister's recently announced Economic Advisory Group (EAG).

The call came after the Minister was questioned by the East Derry MLA at the Economy Committee, during which it was said the Minister had 'missed an opportunity' to involve wider society in planning an economic recovery. 

Caoimhe Archibald MLA said:

“An Economic Advisory Group is an important and welcome component to support and guide sustainable economic recovery.

"However, the group's current membership as announced fails to represent a broad cross-section of society or those who make up our economy. 

"No recovery plan can be credible unless it involves the views and concerns of workers, the green economy, the community sector, struggling SMEs, the agricultural sector and local academics.

"At present, the minister has excluded these groups and voices from the group. The group is almost entirely composed of large business representatives, who represent a very small section of our economy and society.

“The minister must now broaden out the membership of the Economic Advisory Group to include these representatives, and I urge these groups to contact the minister to make clear why they feel the group should be more inclusive and representative of our economy and our society.

"Sinn Féin and I as chairperson of the Economy Committee will continue to press the minister on this. Given the depth and scale of the economic crisis we are facing, we cannot afford to exclude voices from crucial sections of our society in charting a recovery to a fairer, greener and healthier economy."

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