SF Economic Plan Seeks NI Political Pay Cut

A series of proposals from Sinn Fein to deal with the current economic difficulties in Northern Ireland was launched today in Belfast.

Party President Gerry Adams (pictured) was joined by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and all the SF Ministerial team as well as their Finance Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin, for the launch of the economic document, 'There is a Better Way'.

The measures include politicians taking a voluntary 15% wage cut and taxing mobile phone operators £2,000 a month for each mast to raise £160m over four years.

It wants the four Northern Ireland banks to loan £400m for a development bond and would give the NI Housing Executive the power to borrow £250m.

Speaking at the launch in Stormont, Mr Adams said: "Sinn Fein wants to build a consensus to protect jobs, public services and the most vulnerable from the planned Tory cuts.

"In recent months citizens have been told by some politicians that there is no alternative. That cuts are inevitable. This is wrong.

"The Tory approach of trying to cut a way out of the recession is deeply flawed and must be opposed. There is an alternative," he insisted, noting that Sinn Fein has argued for an alliance between political parties, trade unions, communities, and businesses to oppose any cuts.

"There is a Better Way sets out an alternative strategy and our ideas and proposals for dealing with the current economic crisis," he continued, noting that the party is determined to protect frontline services and in particular the most vulnerable in society who rely on public services for survival.

"A team of party activists, under the direction of our Finance Spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin, have developed these proposals and have passed them to economists and other experts as part of the preparation of this document.

"The proposals are about tackling waste, saving money, raising revenue, and investing this to create jobs, build infrastructure and protect public services.

"They will bring in almost £1.9bn in combined savings and new revenue," he insisted, and said that Mitchel has written to the other parties asking to meet with them to discuss the proposals and listen to any that they may have.

"We will also be seeking an engagement with other stakeholders and present these proposals as a positive and achievable alternative," Mr Adams concluded.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said local parties were united in their determination to hold the coalition Government to honouring commitments made by the previous Labour administration.

"What we have done is put forward proposals in a positive and constructive way, knowing there will be other proposals to come hopefully from other parties," he said.


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