The Conservatives have called on Northern Ireland’s politicians to break their deadlock after a meeting with banking leaders over the impact the global economic crisis will have on the province.
Owen Paterson said there was a “real concern” about the long-standing dependency on the public sector and hit out at Stormont’s senior politicians for failing to meet during such a difficult time.
The Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was in Belfast to hold talks with Ulster Bank chairman Sean Dorgan on the state of the local economy. He also met with Ulster Bank’s Henry Elvin, head of business banking, and David Peacock, head of corporate affairs, to discuss how to increase private investment here.
“The dependency of the Northern Ireland economy on the public sector is a real concern and I will continue to press for measures to encourage greater investment in the private sector,” he said.
“The Prime Minister yesterday announced that the UK economy is in recession and the latest information shows Northern Ireland will be seriously affected. Given the severity of the economic climate, it is clearly totally unsatisfactory that the Executive has not met since early June.”
As part of his programme of visiting businesses here, Mr Paterson toured the Tayto factory in Tandragee to see how it is coping with the economic downturn.