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All-Party Economic Forum essential to progress - Alderdice

February 8, 2006 1:08 PM

Alliance Enterprise Spokesperson David Alderdice has said the Alliance Party has put forward an all-party economic forum as an essential part of the political process.

The North Down Councillor and former Belfast Lord Mayor stated: "We proposed an all-party economic roundtable to the Secretary of State directly on Monday. We did so not as some kind of 'optional extra', but because it is essential to the process.

"There must be no hiding place for politicians who seek to be law makers on an issue as fundamental as promoting business and investment. It is very easy to criticize Government from outside, but those seeking to be inside need to come up with a plan that will promote high-skilled jobs and a prospering private sector.

"In the past week we have seen small businesses in Belfast yet again forced to the brink by an illegal and unforeseeable postal strike completely outside their control. Rightly, they have asked their public representatives what they are doing about it. Only the Alliance Party has answered.

"People are concerned at the instability of our remaining industrial sectors, potential crises caused by events that affect business here but are currently beyond our control, and by ongoing rising costs and rates hikes that threaten the very sustainability of even large firms here. This is no time for the 'blame game'. If people want positions in a devolved government, they had better ensure there is a functioning economy to govern.

"The Alliance Party has put forward an all-party economic forum as fundamental to the forthcoming political talks, and as fundamental to any political settlement beyond that. It is time politicians showed the people that they can deliver."

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