28 November 2019
On Thursday morning, the DUP launched its 2019 General Election Manifesto at W5 in Belfast.
During the course of her remarks, DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA said,
"In exactly two weeks the polls will be open and the people across the United Kingdom will be exercising their democratic right to vote.
In Northern Ireland voters will be faced with a clear choice on what will be one of the most important polls ever held in Northern Ireland. This party is fighting for very vote and every vote will matter.
Today we publish a detailed manifesto, which sets out our policies and priorities for the next Parliament. Our manifesto compliments our 12-point plan for Northern Ireland.
We make no apology for focusing on Northern Ireland and for publishing detailed plans for moving Northern Ireland forward.
We want to see a strong and united Democratic Unionist team at Westminster and a restored Northern Ireland Assembly to take vital reforming decisions in areas such as health and education.
I urge people on 12th December to vote for a strong team with a track record of working with others at Westminster to deliver; that has secured an additional £1.5 billion for the people of Northern Ireland- for their healthcare, educational outcomes, infrastructure and City deals.
With the General Election result uncertain, there will again be the opportunity for the largest Party from Northern Ireland to have significant influence- on securing the best EU exit deal for Northern Ireland, and on delivering more for the people of Northern Ireland.
The party with the most seats from Northern Ireland will have the most influence and having secured significant investment for Northern Ireland in the last two years, the DUP wants to do much more.
Some seek a mandate to do nothing in this election- nothing in the Assembly and nothing in Parliament. The DUP seeks a mandate to turn up, and a mandate to work, on behalf of the people.
A vote for the DUP, two weeks from today is:
For increased family incomes- raising personal tax and national insurance allowances, increasing the national living wage and having more younger people entitled to it. For ending the freeze on benefits, and raising in line with inflation.
A vote for older people- for the restoration of TV licences for over 75s, and maintaining the pensions triple lock and universal winter fuel payments.
For Northern Ireland getting its fair share of investment in infrastructure and a re-balanced economy.
For a business-friendly environment and enhanced productivity
Leaving the European Union as One United Kingdom. The DUP is committed to a deal that works for the whole of the United Kingdom and which does not leave Northern Ireland behind, with no border in the Irish Sea.
For a compassionate and effective voice in the world.
For more effective agricultural support and a UK-wide approach to environmental protection.
For Northern Ireland as a cybersecurity leader, and a renewed focus on the nation’s defences and supporting those who defend it.
Reforming Parliament and politics including:
Repealing the Fixed Term Parliament Act
A UK-wide approach to political donations
Reduce the membership of the House of Lords.
Withhold expenses and allowances from Members who don’t fulfil their responsibilities
UK Cabinet meetings in Northern Ireland
Overhaul or replace the Joint Ministerial Committee
And enhance the role of the British Irish Council
The message at this election is clear. If you want to see Northern Ireland moving and want more done then you should unite around the strongest unionist party.
Now more than ever unionism needs to speak with one voice.
Make no mistake elections matter.
The outcome of this election across the United Kingdom is still uncertain. As we have proved over the last two years our votes may well be crucial.
A Jeremy Corbyn Government would be bad for Northern Ireland and in a hung Parliament we would not support him to be Prime Minister.
What we need is a mandate for our manifesto and plan for Northern Ireland, to protect Northern Ireland and to get more done for Northern Ireland.
How people vote at this election and how many seats we have will determine not just individual Members of Parliament but the shape and direction of our country thereafter.
Unionism needs its strongest team.
It needs to work together.
Northern Ireland needs one strong voice leading from the front to deliver for everyone in Northern Ireland and protect our place in the union.
The DUP is that voice.
If we are to deliver and get Northern Ireland moving in the right direction we need support across Northern Ireland.
In the remaining time ahead let us work to protect Northern Ireland and ensure Northern Ireland has a strong team arguing its case at Westminster.