27th September 2017

At Stormont last week with Owen Reidy of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and Steven Agnew.  We had an excellent conversation about public service cuts, including the desperate position of health services in Fermanagh, about the dangers of a looming Brexit, and about the situation of so many, especially young people, struggling in the dual traps of low pay and zero hours contracts.

We talked about the need for proper investment in skills, and in supporting real jobs and sustainable businesses across the region.  That necessity seems to me particularly acute this morning, with the news about the US decision to impose an import tariff on the Bombardier C-series jet. 

Regardless of the legal detail in this particular case, an economic policy based on giving huge chunks of our limited block grant to large multinational corporations is never going to work for Northern Ireland in the long term.  We have a great tradition of high quality engineering, enthusiastic and hard-working people and unparalleled natural resources.  We can do better than this, and I hope that this news will be an alarm call to Sinn Fein and the DUP to wake up and switch on the vision.  We in the Green Party can give them plenty of ideas.

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