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We need to fight for own economic control

THE DUP and its allies in the UUP and Alliance parties seem so eager to please their Tory masters at Westminster that they are willing to impose the most Draconian welfare cuts on the sick, disabled, elderly and unemployed.

The truth is that the welfare system in Britain is in freefall. Food banks are burgeoning, with the numbers of families needing them to survive increasing daily.

It's time the DUP summoned the courage to join with Sinn Fein in demanding maximum fiscal powers, which will enable us to design an economy to meet our specific and unique circumstances.

We are lagging behind Scotland and Wales in terms of financial decision-making and fiscal accountability. The other areas have carefully explored their fiscal position and identified what they want to change. Scotland has had a degree of income tax variation transferred and Wales is also lobbying for similar powers.

The north, with the exception of a fairly unadventurous debate on the transfer of corporation tax and air passenger duty, has stagnated due to DUP Finance Ministers' lack of ambition and self-confidence.

Rather than passively adopt fiscal policies designed for the island of Britain, we should be demanding control of our own economic levers and identifying revenue streams.

That would enable us to take care of those in need, while creating an economy that will raise living standards for all.

DAITHI McKAY MLA

Sinn Fein economy spokesperson

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