Martin McGuinness: Sinn Féin committed to building on progress made in agreement

(Last Friday week David Cameron proposed what he said was a £1 billion package and then left for a rave party for his wife. The five parties rejected his offer, saying it largely amounted to the Executive having additional loan-raising powers. They in turn sought a £2 billion package with Mr Cameron on Monday responding with his £1.5 billion offering. This afternoon that increased again to around £2 billion.)

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said the all-party agreement reached today protects the most vulnerable in society and will help deal with the legacy of the past.

Martin McGuinness said;

“Sinn Féin set out to achieve a comprehensive agreement and we have made progress on a range of issues.

“There has been progress on significant issues including a financial package and we have protected the most vulnerable in society against the Tory welfare cuts. We have also made headway on the issues of flags, parades and the past.

“We agreed a comprehensive financial package to deal with the legacy of the conflict and to promote peace and reconciliation. This financial package will also help bring stability to the powersharing institutions.

“We agreed a welfare protection package for the most vulnerable people in our society to ensure there is no reduction in benefits within the control of the Assembly.

“These protections are unique to the north of Ireland and are in sharp contrast to the austerity-driven welfare system being rolled out in Britain.

“We worked intensively to move forward on the vexed issues of identity, parading and the past. Sinn Féin argued that any process dealing with the legacy of the past needs to be victim centred.

“We successfully made the case that families who had lost loved ones during the conflict should continue to be able to pursue truth and justice through the mechanism of coroners’ inquests.

“We have also achieved a set of balanced truth recovery mechanisms to deal with the past. We agreed a Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition and that responsibility for parades should be devolved to the Assembly and built upon.

“Sinn Féin is committed to building on the progress made by the Executive parties over recent days. It is our intention to carry this positive work forward in the time ahead.”

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