Concordia responds to current political crisis

8 Sep 2015     Last updated: 8 Sep 2015

Press statement issued by Concordia, representing CBI Northern Ireland, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, NICVA, and Ulster Farmers’ Union.

As talks begin to resolve another political crisis in Northern Ireland we urge all NI political parties, the British and Irish Governments and USA interests to ensure the continuation of our political institutions.

The social partners, CBI, ICTU, NICVA and UFU, seek a total end to violence by all paramilitary groups irrespective of whatever community they come from.  Violence of any form has exacerbated the socio-economic situation affecting all citizens in Northern Ireland but with a particular impact on those living in our marginalised communities.

Our appeal for the continuation of the political institutions in Northern Ireland is premised on our belief that we can only achieve a thriving economy rooted in equality and justice for all in a society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The current political situation is undermining business and consumer confidence. Political stability through effective government is the foundation for a successful economy delivering increased living standards for all.

In pursuit of that objective it is acknowledged that Northern Ireland is, as a region of the UK, different both in political and social terms, and faces particular unique challenges. Through working effectively together with a strategic focus we believe these challenges can be addressed.

The current austerity measures imposed by Westminster do act as a significant constraint to the growth in our economy, and has a detrimental impact on many aspects of our economy and those most in need. This necessitates a greater focus on creating an innovative and more productive enterprise sector, delivering higher value jobs.

We as social partners in CBI, ICTU, NICVA and UFU hold differences of opinion on many policy issues and we will not always agree with or support every Northern Ireland Executive decision. However, we are united in recognising that good government is needed locally that functions and makes decisions. Furthermore we recognise that a financial stimulus to increase investment in skills and infrastructure is necessary, and to ensure the delivery of high quality public services. To deliver on such a substantive programme means that the Northern Ireland Executive will have to consider using existing local revenue raising powers to supplement investment.

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