Wed 3rd Jul 2013
Alliance Leader Outlines Party’s Plans for Jobs and the Economy
20 April 2011
Alliance leader David Ford today outlined his plans for jobs and the economy to leading members of the Northern Ireland business community ahead of the forthcoming election. The Alliance leader was speaking at the fifth and final 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 outlined their plans for jobs, growth and the economy.
Today’s event took place at Grafton Employment Group’s Belfast city centre offices, The Boat, and follows similar events held over the last fortnight at which DUP leader Peter Robinson, Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuinness, SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie and UUP leader Tom Elliott addressed business audiences.
Speaking at this morning’s event, Alliance leader David Ford said:
“Alliance is committed to delivering an economic revolution. The window of opportunity is closing. The Executive has had four years and so far has failed to deliver the step change required. Every party says that we need economic growth but all parties must now step up and commit to immediate action.
“The Executive should commit to the following 5 step plan for delivery within 12 months; a reduction in corporation tax, a more responsive system of skills delivery, funding for the Green New Deal, more finance options for small business and a commitment to identify and address the costs of division. All parties say the economy is their priority but this is the test of whether it is in practice.”
Speaking after today’s event, Francis Martin, President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, commented:
“The ‘5 Leaders, 5 Days’ series has provided leading members of Northern Ireland’s business community with unprecedented access to our political leaders, creating the ideal platform for leaders to reveal their plans for the economy and for the business audiences to engage and question them on key economic issues. The challenge now is to ensure this interaction is not a one-off but that it continues post-election and helps meet the stringent challenges which our economy is facing as a new Assembly term takes shape.
“As the prospect of devolved tax powers comes closer, it is vital that Government works closely with both the public and private sector to pave the way for the long overdue rebalancing of the Northern Ireland economy. A common theme of the messages delivered throughout the ‘5 Leaders, 5 Days’ series has been a strong commitment amongst the political leaders to grow the economy through the expansion of the private sector. The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce welcomes this commitment and looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Assembly to boost employment levels,” he added.
Speaking after today’s event, Cathy McCorry, Managing Director,Grafton Employment Group, said:
“We are delighted to host this morning’s event, the last in the series of ‘5 Leaders, 5 Days’ events which has allowed the business community to engage with our political leaders on their plans for economic growth. We have watched with great interest as the debate has developed throughout the series, from Peter Robinson’s address at the first meeting earlier this month to David Ford’s visit to Grafton this morning. It was encouraging to see leading members of the Northern Ireland business community engage with Mr Ford and ask questions ahead of an election for which the economy will no doubt be at the forefront of voters’ minds.”
Read David Ford’s speech at http://northernirelandchamber.com/Content.aspx?nSectionId=1&nSubSectionId=10&nContentId=777 or watch on YouTube at www.youtube.com/NIChamber