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Recast the Budget to boost jobs, says SDLP

By Noel McAdam

The SDLP will today announce plans to “recast” the Budget in the next Assembly to focus on job creation.

Along with Ulster Unionists, SDLP MLAs voted against the four-year Budget blueprint which ministers in the new Executive will have to implement.

But while UUP Health Minister Michael McGimpsey and Employment and Learning Minister Danny Kennedy also voted against, SDLP Social Development Minister Alex Attwood abstained, avoiding potential censure under the Ministerial Code.

Ahead of the publication of a new economic policy document today, the party’s enterprise spokesman Alasdair McDonnell said policy “can and should be recast” in terms of creating jobs and promoting prosperity.

“If that was done we would have a very different Budget and outlook, and that is what we will be pressing for in the new Assembly,” the South Belfast MP added.

His criticism came two weeks after UUP finance spokesman David McNarry argued the current Budget will “unravel” in the next Assembly, while conceding ministers will have to work on the basis of its controversial provisions after Sinn Fein, the DUP and Alliance voted it through.

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