David Ford said: “We are presenting a radical and visionary agenda for progress and prosperity.
“Politicians need to deliver solutions and leadership, not problems for the people that elect them. In this election, parties should be judged on their work and their policies, and parties trying to create tribal constituency stitch-ups should be punished for their selfish actions.
“The biggest issues for the public on the doorsteps are jobs and protecting and reforming public services, yet other parties’ seem more concerned about carving-up Northern Ireland for themselves.
“We need to build an economy that is responsive and resilient to global challenges. We must rebalance the economy to ensure that Northern Ireland emerges from the recession in a stronger, more competitive shape. A successful economy and sustained prosperity are vital to create the right conditions for the development of a shared, non-sectarian society, giving people a stake in the consolidation of peace.
“To create tens of thousands of new jobs we would implement a Green New Deal and make Northern Ireland a world leader in sustainability. We would create a Green Economy Taskforce and increase renewable energy production in Northern Ireland . Rolling out home insulation schemes would create jobs in construction, save households money and protect the environment by improving energy efficiency. We would invest in research and development to maximise job potential in this area and cut bureaucracy to help all businesses. Alliance will also battle for a reduction in corporation tax for Northern Ireland and continue to lead the push for tax-varying powers here too.
“If David Cameron has his way massive problems are about to hit our public services and our economy. Alliance will safeguard and reform vital frontline services. We simply cannot allow David Cameron’s slash and burn policy to be implemented as it will decimate our economy. Alliance MPs will resist reckless cuts in public spending by any future government.
” Alliance is working to eradicate poverty and ensure social justice. We would assist older people by restoring the earnings link to pensions and increasing winter fuel grants. We would also extend the national minimum wage to 16 year-olds and simplify applying for benefits so that people do not miss out on what they are entitled to.
” Alliance continues to lead the way on protecting our environment. We will battle to see the introduction of an independent Environmental Protection Agency. We would create Northern Ireland specific climate change legislation and we would encourage energy efficiency and renewable use through promoting smart electricity metering and providing more grants to encourage people to install renewable energy systems. We will also invest more in public transport to give people more of an incentive to leave the car at home.
“The public are angry with politicians over the scandals of the past year and so am I. That’s why Alliance has committed to cracking down on MP double-jobbing. Any of our Assembly Members who get elected to Westminster will step down from Stormont.
“We will also toughen up regulations on MPs’ expenses to bring them into line with practices at Stormont. This would mean that receipts must be presented before expenses can be provided. There can be no more free meal tickets for MPs because the old system is a total insult to the public and should never have been allowed in the first place. We need to re-build public confidence in politics and we are taking radical steps to do so. We will also create a register of lobbyists to ensure transparency and integrity in politics.
“We need sharing, not segregation in Northern Ireland . We will tackle division’s negative impact on services and community relations. The other parties cannot bury their heads in the sand any longer. Segregation is costing each household in Northern Ireland one thousand pounds every year. Only Alliance makes ending this costly division our top priority. We will also be working to make communities safer and ensuring fair justice for all. That means improving the speed of justice, providing more assistance for victims and witnesses, and supporting police resourcing to ensure more visible policing.
“We need a new era of delivery for the people of Northern Ireland . There can be no more excuses from the tribal parties to prevent work being done. Alliance has provided delivery where others have failed. During the justice talks we ensured that the DUP and Sinn Fein agreed to deliver a new community relations strategy. We demanded this because we believe it is essential to enable Northern Ireland to move forward to a genuinely shared future. This is the first time ever during the existence of devolution in Northern Ireland that a community relations strategy is being delivered. That’s Alliance delivering for all and making pressure and hard work pay off for people here.
“People have real decisions to make in this election. They need to decide whether they will vote for a party that focuses on real issues or one that obsesses about which flag flies over this area. They need to decide whether they will vote for a party that delivers or one that causes tribal stalemates. They need to choose between a united community or a carved-up Northern Ireland . For positive politics, delivery and a shared future a vote for Alliance is the right choice.”
Key Policy Commitments for Westminster
- Opposing steep cuts in UK public spending, including seeking to exempt NI from cuts as far as possible in return for local commitment to reform
- Lobbying for a lower rate of Corporation Tax for Northern Ireland , to facilitate a step change in economic growth
- Campaigning for the introduction of a UK Regional Government
- Re-balancing the Northern Ireland economy away from an over-reliance on the public sector
- Introducing a Green New Deal
Finance & Public Services
- Addressing the £1bn annual costs of managing a divided society
- Pushing a reform agenda for public services
- Lobbying for tax-varying powers for Assembly
- Supporting a levy on Bank profits
Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion
- Delivering a fair deal for pensioners – restoration of the earnings link to pensions
- Supporting more flexible parental leave
- Campaigning for a standard minimum wage from age 16 upwards
- Supporting robust action against climate change
- Encouraging sustainable development at all levels of government
- Campaigning for a revised UK aviation strategy
- Continuing to deliver on Shared Future
- Working for a Single Equality Act
- Supporting a realistic Bill of Rights, with cross-community support
- Working for an open, fair and effective system of immigration
- Delivering an effective local criminal justice system that provides community safety and accessible justice
- Comprehensive approach to dealing with the legacy of the past
- Taking a civil liberties approach to national security
- Campaigning for changes in Assembly Voting System
- Supporting a negotiated power-sharing coalition
- Endorsing votes at 16
- Calling for a UK written Constitution
- Advocating electoral reform – Single Transferable Vote to Westminster
- Considering recall of MPs
European and Global Affairs
- Working for positive engagement with the European Union
- Providing peace and security through a global system that supports democracy, human rights and the rule of law
- Campaigning for international development, including free and fair trade, increased international aid, and a new climate change treaty
- Endorsing a Strategic Defence Review for the United Kingdom
Here’s a link to the manifesto on our website: