November 28, 2022
New economic strategy needed for the north to improve productivity – Archibald

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said a new economic strategy is needed for the north that invests in skills, supports local small businesses, develops the all-island economy and maximises the potential of the protocol to create jobs and investment.

The party’s economy spokesperson said:

“The research published by the ESRI showing the widening productivity gap between north and south is symptomatic of the impact of partition on the economy of the north.

“It’s clear that we could be doing much better if we had control of our own destinies and our economy making decisions for the benefit of the people who share the Island.

“It also highlights the complete lack of an economic vision of the DUP who have been in charge of the department responsible for the economy for the past 15 years.

“During that time the north’s economic performance has remained stubbornly poor. One fifth of workers in the north earn less than a basic living wage and the labour market in the North is characterised by low-paid jobs and less secure employment – hence the lowest productivity.

“Along with the lack of strategic economic thinking from the DUP, a decade of Tory austerity decimated department budgets for public services including much-need funding for education and skills.

“The DUP also championed Brexit which has resulted in the loss of EU funding which delivered a significant money for skills,  agriculture and community projects, money which is not being replaced in full by the British government.

“Successive DUP Economy Ministers have also failed to sell the north’s special status under the Protocol to investors, squandering its potential to create jobs.

“Now due to the DUP’s blockade of the Executive, departments here are facing the brunt of a Tory inflicted budget.

“Our businesses and young people are crying out for leadership. They need the DUP to end its boycott and get back to work to invest in our health service, support people through the cost of living crisis and transform our economy.

“It is abundantly clear we need new political leadership in the department for the economy, a new economic strategy that sees investment in skills, supporting local small businesses, developing the all-island economy and maximising the potential of the protocol to create jobs and investment.” 

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