Former Belfast Lord Mayor Tom Ekin has said that the blame for the drift in the political process rests firmly with the lack of leadership provided by the largest parties – and that businesses and employment are suffering as a result.
The Alliance Councillor stated: “How dare our political leaders try to blame everyone else for the drift in our political process? They were charged, by the people, with providing the leadership to move the process forward. But yet again it is the same old story – it’s all everyone else’s fault.
“In the meantime we see nothing but indecision in assisting people create the wealth we need to make this place work properly. Indecision in planning, indecision on rating, indecision about grants – perhaps Government departments have no need for long-term plans, but businesses do, and without them it is those who work for those businesses who
“Northern Ireland needs to create twice as many jobs per year than it currently does to keep unemployment at current levels. Every single one of these jobs will need to be created by business. Yet without the ability to plan ahead and know what the legal environment is, businesses simply cannot create the wealth and jobs required.
“The Alliance Party has put forward economic proposals, and has called for an economic roundtable with other parties. Why can we not just get on with it? Why must the process be led by outsiders all the time? It is time our leaders took responsibility for our future.”