Wed 3rd Jul 2013
UUP Leader Outlines Party’s Plans for Jobs and the Economy
18 April 2011
UUP leader Tom Elliott today outlined his plans for jobs and the economy to leading members of the Northern Ireland business community ahead of the forthcoming election. The UUP leader was speaking at the fourth and penultimate event of the ‘5 Leaders, 5 Days’ series, a programme of events organised by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce at which each party leader in the Assembly will outline their plans for jobs, growth and the economy.
Today’s event took place at BDO’s Belfast city centre offices and follows similar events held over the last fortnight at which DUP leader Peter Robinson, Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuinness and SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie addressed business audiences. Alliance leader David Ford will be the guest speaker as the series draws to a close on Wednesday with the final ‘5 Leaders, 5 Days’ event at Grafton Employment Group.
Speaking at this morning’s event, UUP leader Tom Elliott said:
“The economy is a hugely important issue during this election campaign and I would like to thank the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce for facilitating this series of events with not just myself but all the major party leaders. It is important at this time that we lay all our ideas on the table before attempting to form commonality between the Executive parties post-election on the way forward. The economy in Northern Ireland cannot afford another wasted four years like the last and it is imperative we use the next Assembly term to put business and economic development on the front foot.
“We have ideas around Corporation Tax, Enterprise Zones, reform of the planning system and reducing regulation and red tape which we believe would set a pro-business agenda in Northern Ireland over the coming four years and I was delighted to expand on these to members of the Chamber at BDO this morning. I also hope this is the beginning of a continuing dialogue between politicians and the business community as we must be in a position to respond to their ideas and suggestions as we emerge from recession.”
Speaking after today’s event, Francis Martin, President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, commented:
“Jobs and the economy will be at the forefront of voters’ minds more so than in any previous election and, as polling day approaches, the ‘5 Leaders, 5 Days’ series has proved an invaluable platform for the Northern Ireland business community to interact with our political leaders and hear their views on key economic issues. The gauntlet has been thrown down in terms of reducing corporation tax and establishing enterprise zones and the political leaders must work with the business community to ensure Northern Ireland plc seizes the moment.
“Our economy must move swiftly away from an over-reliance on the public sector and secure the necessary investment which will grow the private sector, create jobs and get the regional economy back on an upward curve. The 5 Leaders 5 Days series has set the tone on economic issues during this election campaign and it has been fascinating to see the debate evolve as each political leader has taken centre stage. Today’s event was the fourth in the series and we look forward to the final 5 Leaders 5 Days event which will see Alliance leader David Ford address the Northern Ireland business community on Wednesday.”
Speaking after today’s event, Peter Burnside, Tax Partner, BDO, said:
“It was an honour for BDO to play host to Tom Elliott and members of the Northern Ireland business community at the fourth of the 5 Leaders 5 Days events, a series which we recognise as being vitally important in shaping the pre-election economic debate. The coming months are crucial for the Northern Ireland economy and any platform which allows the business community to engage with political leaders can only act as a positive factor in the bid to boost employment and kick-start the private sector.”
The final 5 Leaders, 5 Days event will see Alliance leader David Ford speaking at Grafton Recruitment’s Belfast city centre offices on Wednesday, April 20th.
Read Tom Elliott’s speech at http://northernirelandchamber.com/Content.aspx?nSectionId=1&nSubSectionId=10&nContentId=774 or watch on YouTube at www.youtube.com/NIChamber