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Ukip: We'll reverse manufacturing decline

By Michael McHugh

Published 07/04/2016

Ukip deputy leader Paul Nuttall and NI leader David McNarry launch the party’s manifesto at the Park Avenue Hotel
Ukip deputy leader Paul Nuttall and NI leader David McNarry launch the party’s manifesto at the Park Avenue Hotel

Ukip pledged to help turn the tide of manufacturing job losses in Northern Ireland as it promised to put British workers first.

It said UK companies should be at the front of the queue for Government contracts and criticised the Executive for asking a Dutch company to provide a rapid transit system for Belfast.

Its manifesto said: "Ukip believes in jobs for British workers first. (Under us) businesses will be able to prioritise young British workers."

Ukip candidate Jonny Lavery promised to tackle youth unemployment, which is much higher in Northern Ireland than in England, but also attacked the use of zero hours contracts, which some businesses argue allows them more flexibility.

And in an attempt to capitalise on anti-European sentiment, Mr Lavery said the EU referendum on June 23 could not be separated from the May 5 election.

He claimed regulation was damaging businesses and promised Ukip stood for renewal.

Ukip deputy leader Paul Nuttall pledged to build 500 new houses in every constituency, protect grammar schools and place British companies at the front of the queue for contracts.

The party also promised to boost the fishing industry by abandoning EU fishing quotas.

Portadown councillor David Jones, for years the official face of the Orange Order's Drumcree parading protest, focused on the NHS and the "parasitic" quangos he blames for running it down.

He demanded immediate appointments for people in pain, and a service free at the point of need, and opposed plans to charge for visiting GPs.

The party would also ensure migrants have NHS-approved health insurance as a condition of entry, after claims health tourism cost the service £2m a day,

The party would furthermore ensure foreign doctors speak good English.

Mr Jones said: "We were once a one-nation country. Sadly, where the other parties are concerned, at present that is no longer the case. They have allowed the NHS to be mauled by bureaucrats. It cannot be managed like a supermarket."

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