Belfast Telegraph

SDLP manifesto contains jobs pledge

Up to 16,000 jobs could be created in three years by boosting Northern Ireland businesses, the SDLP has said.

Renegotiating the budget, creating an economy department and public sector reform were among priorities outlined in the party's manifesto.

Encouraging greater inward investment and taking powers to vary tax were also included in the 51-page document.

The jobs would be produced by properly financing the Green New Deal, doubling tourism revenue and promoting continued growth in the technology sector as well as diverting spending to "shovel-ready" building projects.

Party leader Margaret Ritchie told the Belfast meeting: "If we work on uniting people we can build a shared society that is peaceful, healthy and at ease with itself in one community, which embraces different traditions.

"We must never lose sight of that prize.

"If we work to build prosperity we can develop a modern, dynamic economy that provides employment and opportunity for all.

"We will have to invest heavily in the education and training of young people and we will have to follow a bold economic strategy in the short, medium and long-term."

The manifesto pledged to cut the number of Assembly members from 108 to 96 by the time of the next election, with a further reduction negotiable after 2015.

It also called for a fall in the number of departments and ministers, with a matching number of Assembly committees.

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