Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Declan Kearney has called for the formation of an economic and social consultative body in the North to give key civic stakeholders a real role in the future development of regional economic policy and strategy.
Mr Kearney commented:
“Cuts to public services, job losses, dismantling of the welfare state, and political disregard for the special circumstances of the North are the distinctive hallmarks of the present British Government’s agenda.
“The political institutions need to be a bulwark against Tory austerity in the Six Counties.
“The election of a majority Conservative Party government in Britain has changed everything for the North, so the regional economic and social policy model must also be changed.
“That means effectively targeting patterns of inequality, under-investment and economic underdevelopment west, as well as east, of the Bann.
“That is why the process of economic policy and decision making must be changed.
“The local trade union movement – other civic stakeholders, including the business and employers’ organisations – should be closely involved in helping to shape future manufacturing, industrial, investment and training policy and strategies for the North.
“Consideration should be given to the formation of a properly constituted economic and social consultative body to ensure these key stakeholders have a real role in the future development of regional economic policy and strategy. This would represent one way to ensure that the political institutions act as a brake on the Tories’ efforts to impose unchecked austerity.
“Right2Change has emphasised the importance of common ground and alliances in the 26 Counties.
“Maximum cross-community and sectoral solidarity across the North is also crucial. The damage being done to the welfare state, public services, jobs and working conditions by the Tories transcends constitutional, community and civic differences.
“A ‘Fair Recovery’ agenda should be common ground for civic society and progressive parties across Ireland and Britain.
“The regional executives of Scotland, Wales and the North of Ireland should strive to provide joint political leadership and co-ordinated opposition to austerity.
“A common ground agenda for a ‘Fair Recovery’ across civic society and progressive parties would be a game changer.”
Source: Sinn Féin Newsroom