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Post Covid-19 economy ‘must be better’ – Sinn Fein MLA

Caoimhe Archibald has been backed by Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.

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Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald (left) has called for the establishment of a Just Transition Commission (Liam McBurney/PA)

Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald (left) has called for the establishment of a Just Transition Commission (Liam McBurney/PA)

Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald (left) has called for the establishment of a Just Transition Commission (Liam McBurney/PA)

The post-coronavirus economy “must be better”, a Sinn Fein MLA has urged.

Caoimhe Archibald has called for the establishment of a Just Transition Commission to ensure that “lessons are learned” from the pandemic during the rebuilding process.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill echoed her sentiments at Monday’s executive media briefing, urging the building of a “fairer and more balanced economy”.

Proposing a private members bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly, Ms Archibald said there should not be a return to “business as usual”.

“We must here and now plan for the economic and societal recovery we want to see and put a strategy in place to action it,” she said.

Ms Archibald spoke against austerity measures and called instead for an investment in public services, along with action to decarbonise and a green recovery.

Ms Archibald also called for powers to set minimum wage levels to be devolved to Stormont, and support for indigenous small and medium-sized businesses as well as investment in apprenticeships.

“The economic and societal recovery post Covid-19 must seek to address the fundamental underlying problems of the northern economy,” she said.

“We must address the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and confront the severe economic threat of climate breakdown, and also prepare for the very significant challenges posed by Brexit.

“In doing so, we must also seek to advance the objectives of social and economic equality, sustainable economic development, regional balance and the protection of workers’ rights and incomes.”

PA