Alliance Party Spokesperson for Enterprise David Alderdice has warned that Government claims on cutting back the public sector will not provide the desired results without paying more attention to what can be done for local businesses.
Dr Alderdice, former Belfast Lord Mayor and now a North Down Councillor, stated: “Everyone recognizes that the private sector is too small in Northern Ireland. To embark on a process of resolving this without giving clear consideration to how it has been done elsewhere is the height of madness.
“The Irish Republic undertook this task 20 years ago. The cornerstones of the process included a social contract with the Trade Unions, lower business taxes, and vast infrastructure improvements. Yet we see none of that proposed for Northern Ireland.
“The Government is embarking on what appears to be a populist diet of slashing the public sector, without recognizing that local businesses need to make up the resulting jobs shortfall. Yet far from matching the Republic’s commitments, there is no deal with NIPSA or the other
unions, increased industrial rates, and cutbacks on the roads and rail budgets.
“The whole thing is a recipe for utter economic disaster. Our best people will leave, while our disadvantaged areas will become genuinely deprived. While this threat remains, how long are our politicians going to leave the real decisions in the hands of our direct rulers?
“We can no longer forsake real politics for cheap tribal populism.”