06 October 2017
Speaking this morning in Lisburn DUP Leader Arlene Foster said,
Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and First Minister of Northern Ireland
“Its in the best interests of Northern Ireland and the Union to have a functioning Assembly and influence in our national parliament. Power in Belfast and influence in London. Let us use both so that in 2021 Northern Ireland celebrates its centenary and starts its new century as a confident, growing, prosperous region of a global UK.
The restoration of an Assembly is not about personal ambition but to deliver on that vision.
Already Northern Ireland has achieved much:
- - Our unemployment rate continues to go down. Economic inactivity levels have fallen to their lowest level on record.
- - Earnings for full-time employees have increased by over 2% for two years in a row.
- - Our economy is growing and, importantly, that growth is being driven by the private sector.
- - Spending on Research & Development rose by 24% last year to £750 million – an all time high.
- - Exports by Northern Ireland companies increased by 6% in the past year – the highest increase of any UK region.
- - Manufacturing sales increased by 6% in the last year and jobs in the sector grew by 1.4%.
These achievements were built upon the DUP making jobs and the economy the number one priority of the Executive. It was the right decision and remains so.
In a recent speech, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood recognised nationalism had failed to make the economy the priority. The DUP took the lead and now others follow.
With the opportunities of a sensible Brexit, new global relationships, national and regional industrial strategies and the devolution of Corporation Tax we can do so much more.
Our target of 50,000 more and better jobs will make a difference to so many of our families. Work to help businesses upscale will help more and more businesses step up to the global stage. The stronger your growth the better you can reward your workers.
The DUP has no doubts what is in the best interest of Northern Ireland. It has faith in Northern Ireland, its people and its businesses. We call on others to cast aside their doubts and to have faith. Everyone will enjoy the rewards of a common good."