‘Fiscal powers can unlock North’s potential’ – Bradley

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Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
SDLP Finance spokesperson and MLA for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley has said that the devolution of fiscal powers would provide an opportunity to unlock the economic potential of the North.

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley

Speaking ahead of a debate in the Assembly, Bradley said, “The SDLP has long called for a commission to examine the case for the devolution of fiscal powers to the Assembly. “We believe that an independent assessment of the impact further powers could have on the local economy will add compelling weight to the argument in favour of devolved, accountable decision making. “It is time that we stood up on our own two feet and took responsibility for the tough decisions rather than continuing to tinker around the edges of spending. We can encourage job creation, develop progressive taxation and protect the vulnerable, but that demands local accountability,” he continued. “That accountability must also be strengthened. The SDLP has highlighted this on a number of occasions. We must commit to a more thorough interrogation of the cost of government in Northern Ireland. “This will address not only savings but refortify faith in our politics. As trust in politicians and politics continues to ebb, we must enhance the openness and transparency of the Assembly and the Executive. Bradley added, “This is a necessary step if we wish to deepen democracy, strengthen the quality and character of government and make our structures of government fully accountable to our people.”
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