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Government programme 'could encourage privatisation'

Published 22/07/2016

The union said equality, a rights-based approach and a commitment to adequately funded public services should be at the forefront of government
The union said equality, a rights-based approach and a commitment to adequately funded public services should be at the forefront of government

The Northern Ireland Executive's approach to government could encourage privatisation, a union claimed.

Unite said the draft Programme for Government (PFG) should be partnered with a long-term public investment strategy.

Regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said it "undermines wider social engagement in the consultation process and threatens to open the door to low-cost, corner-cutting approaches to delivery, such as outsourcing and privatisation".

He said there was a lack of proposals in the draft PFG surrounding manufacturing and no target for research and development, productivity or the proportion of workers being paid a living wage.

"At a time when Northern Ireland faces the challenges associated with Brexit and our economic output in real terms remains smaller than it was eight years ago - such absences are both inexplicable and inexcusable."

Mr Kelly added: "The principles of equality, a rights-based approach and a commitment to adequately funded public services must be included as cross-cutting priorities.

"We also believe that any programme for government should be brought forward alongside a long-term public investment strategy necessary to underpin future regional competitiveness and growth."

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