Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Call for ‘grown-up’ approach to General Election campaign

A pressure group aiming to invigorate politics in Northern Ireland has called for “honest” and “grown-up” debate in the General Election campaign.

Platform for Change said the issue in this election is the intensity of the coming public expenditure squeeze, with its inevitable impact on the |Assembly’s budget.

It urged candidates to make clear to voters how they intend to address this issue if elected and advised electors to vote accordingly.

The recently-launched grouping also encouraged people to vote for candidates, of whichever party, who were committed to supporting sharing and a focus on the common good. Platform for Change chair Robin Wilson said: “We need MPs who will be honest about facing the hard choices on taxing and spending at Westminster, particularly with a hung Parliament likely. These bread-and-butter issues are what Northern Ireland voters increasingly want to dominate the political agenda. The parties must |respond if they are to expect voters to turn out in numbers in their support.”

The secretary of the group, Nuala McKeever, expressed a hope for a politics that involved a “grown-up conversation” with voters.

“And if that means us as individual citizens rethinking ‘traditional’ voting patterns in favour of policy-based decisions, so be it,” she added.

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