Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Sinn Fein to reveal savings plan

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is set to unveil proposals for savings
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is set to unveil proposals for savings

Sinn Fein is set to claim it can save £1 billion from the Assembly purse and identify £800 million in additional revenue.

The party will unveil its economic blueprint on Thursday to pre-empt the huge cuts expected to be announced by Chancellor George Osborne when he publishes his spending review next week.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, together with senior party colleagues, will launch an economic proposal paper.

A party source said: "For too long people have been peddling the line that the only way ahead was to slash public services. We are offering a better way."

Estimates suggest the Chancellor could be poised to impose £2 billion of cuts on Stormont over four years.

But Mr McGuinness has said the previous Labour government made binding commitments in the 2006 St Andrews political deal to provide £18 billion in funding for infrastructural projects in Northern Ireland.

Earlier on Wednesday, he addressed a conference on the economy where he said some communities failed to benefit from the peace and prosperity that had flowed from the ending of the Troubles.

"In the current economic downturn we are united in our determination to grow the economy out of recession and into prosperity, and to tackle patterns of deprivation and deliver change in the community," he told the Securing Our Place In The Economy, Delivering Community Benefits event in Belfast.

He told the conference, organised as part of the North Belfast Respect Programme, that the current Westminster government was obliged to uphold pledges made over economic support for the Assembly.

"Before the institutions were established, all the parties negotiated collectively and secured a package of investment," he said.

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