Wed 3rd Jul 2013
First Minister Outlines DUP Plans for Jobs And The Economy
5 April 2011
First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson today outlined his plans for jobs and the economy to leading members of the Northern Ireland business community ahead of the forthcoming election. The DUP leader was speaking at the first 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 Citi’s headquarters in Titanic Quarter and will be followed over the next fortnight by four similar events in city centre venues at which the Sinn Fein, Ulster Unionist, SDLP and Alliance Party Assembly leaders will address business audiences.
Speaking at this morning’s event, First Minister Peter Robinson said:
“This is an election where the main issues will be those relating to jobs and the economy. Indeed, growing our economy was the overarching priority of the last Programme for Government. In the face of so many other competing aspirations, this in itself was a considerable step forward.
“While we could not have predicted the unprecedented financial turbulence over the last few years, I have no doubt that we were right to make the economy the main priority over the last Assembly. The fundamental building blocks for prosperity are peace and stability and despite the setback of recent days Northern Ireland remains a society transformed. We saw the blight on investment and employment for the decades of the Troubles and now we are seeing the real potential of Northern Ireland being unleashed. I believe that settled and stable political institutions are a key ingredient of this progress.”
Speaking after today’s event, Francis Martin, President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, commented:
“This election is the most important for jobs and the economy in the history of Northern Ireland, with a reduction in corporation tax now a very real possibility and the stage is therefore set for Northern Ireland to seize the economic opportunities presented by this change.
“This event and the next four events mean that the business community can hear exactly how each party plans to make the most of these changes. We look forward to that economic debate evolving as we hear from the leaders of Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the UUP and the Alliance Party at the forthcoming ‘5 Leaders, 5 Days’ events.
“It is Chamber members and the rest of the Northern Ireland business community who will be directly affected by these and more general economic issues – today’s event provided a unique platform for the First Minister to spell out his views on the economy and for the Northern Ireland business community to contribute to, and inform, the debate on these critical issues. It is clear Northern Ireland must kick-start its economy, grow the private sector and reduce reliance on the public sector – we believe the ‘5 Leaders, 5 Days’ series will play a vital role in helping business leaders form an opinion on the best ways for these things to happen.”
The next 5 Leaders, 5 Days event will see Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness speak on Wednesday, April 13th at Belfast’s NYSE Euronext office, with SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie addressing the audience at McGrigors on Friday, April 15th. UUP leader Tom Elliot will speak at BDO on Monday, April 18th and Alliance leader David Ford will speak at Grafton on Wednesday, April 20th.
Speaking after today’s event, Brian McAreavey, Managing Director, Citi, said:
“We at Citigroup are well aware of how important the forthcoming election will be for the economy and of the opportunities for jobs and growth which must be taken. It was an honour to play host to the First Minister and members of the Northern Ireland business community at the first of the 5 Leaders 5 Days events, a series which we recognise as being vitally important in shaping the pre-election economic debate.”
A copy of the First Minister’s speech is available at http://www.mydup.com/articles.asp?ArticleNewsID=3378.
Peter Robinson’s speech and Q&A session can also be viewed on the Chamber’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/nichamber