Alliance Party Deputy Leader and Economy Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has contrasted today’s publication by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, of a fresh industrial strategy for England with the ongoing absence of a fresh economic strategy in Northern Ireland, and the poor prospects of one now being produced given the political context. As a former Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Farry in particular stressed the importance of the NI Executive further investing in skills and infrastructure.
Stephen Farry said: “The launch of a fresh industrial strategy by the UK Prime Minister is welcome, even though there remains some scepticism regarding the commitment and resourcing behind it.
“Nevertheless, the focus on improving productivity levels, including in particular increased investment in skills and infrastructure, is necessary and rightly recognised as vital to the transformation of the economy.
“However, the industrial strategy as it applies to England throws into sharp contrast the paucity of clear policy direction in Northern Ireland, especially the absence of an economic strategy, and the ongoing under resourcing of skills and infrastructure.
“Northern Ireland’s ability to respond is clearly hampered by the current political vacuum, which further reinforces the consequences of recent political recklessness and the importance of good government being put in place.”