‘PwC Report paints bleak outlook for poorest households’ – Fearon
Sinn Féin Assembly Member Megan Fearon has reiterated her call for the Executive to re-examine its economic relationship with the British Exchequer following PwC’s latest Economic Outlook Report.
The Report shows that although the lowest earning 10% of the population in Britain and the North are £20 per week or about £1,000 per year worse off than their more affluent neighbours, this ‘does not reflect the true picture of the lower disposable household incomes here’.
Speaking to Newry Times, Fearon said, “This is just the latest Report to paint a bleak outlook for the poorest in society on the back of Tory led Austerity policies.
“While the PwC figures produced show an average across Britain and the North depicting poorer households as being £20 per week or about £1,000 per year worse off than their more affluent neighbours, this does not reflect the true picture of much lower household disposable incomes here.
“Figures which Sinn Féin received at the beginning of the year in response to a question to the Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton on disposable income per region shows that in 2010 – the most recent figures available – the average disposable income per household in the North is £2,240 per annum less than the British average,” she revealed.
“In fact households here are on average £7,140 per year worse off than households in London, where the British Chancellor’s economic policies are designed to have the most beneficial impact.
“The British economy has greater gaps between the haves and have nots than any other European economy, with households in the North of Ireland suffering the worst effects of its fiscal policies.
The SDLP MLA continued, “The imbalances within the British economy are as a direct result of British economic and monetary policy which takes no account of unique social and economic conditions outside of London and particularly in the North of Ireland.
“This, together with the stated intention of the British government to continue with its welfare cuts agenda following the next election, ensures that those on low incomes or benefit dependent will be trapped in a never-ending poverty cycle.
“As Sinn Féin has long advocated, it is long past time that we demand the necessary tools to build a just, fair and equitable economy in the North. How many Reports must be published before all politicians here accept that the fiscal link between the North and Britain requires an urgent reassessment.
“There is no place in modern society for such an undemocratic and top-down structure as Westminster – London Centred Tory monetary Policy which has no return for the people of the north.
Fearon added, “We cannot continue to depend on a Government which has no elected mandate – a Tory Party which was in fact rejected at the ballot box here – to continue to dictate our economic future.”
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