Business community reacts to 'New Decade, New Approach' deal

  • Photo: NI Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor, NI Chamber President John Healy and Vice-President Ian Henry.

    In a joint statement urging politicians to accept the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal, NI Chamber President John Healy, Vice-President Ian Henry and Chief Executive Ann McGregor, said:

    “After three years of paralysis, we now have a workable deal that will allow an Executive to start addressing the problems within our health service and education system. They will also be able to take action to grow our economy and support the community and voluntary sector.

    “We therefore encourage the five main political parties to progress it urgently. Business, health and education cannot wait any longer - failure is not an option. Now is the time for our politicians to show mature leadership and help navigate a path to the future by accepting this deal.”

    Kirsty McManus, National Director of the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) said tha the deal “is to be welcomed, filled with ambition that, if fulfilled, can deliver real improvements for the people and businesses of Northern Ireland.”

    She continued:  “We would therefore urge all parties to get behind the deal to enable the speedy restoration of the Executive.

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    “Commitments from the British and Irish governments for some crucial pieces of infrastructure such as the York Street Interchange, upgrades to the A5 and A6 road and Northern Ireland’s wastewater network are particularly pleasing.

    IoD NI National Director Kirsty McManus

    “The expansion of university provision at the Magee Campus in Derry meanwhile will go some way to rebalancing the regional economy. Plans for multi-year budgets and increased civic engagement will also improve overall governance.

    “From a business perspective however, we would have liked to have seen more around a new skills agenda, which urgently require focus alongside a renewed look at the Apprenticeship Levy which is not included in this deal. On behalf of our members, we will also monitor closely commitments to bring forward legislation that will allow unfettered access to the Great Britain market for local business following Brexit.”

    The President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University, Professor Ian Greer welcomed the draft deal and wished the parties well for forthcoming discussions. He said: ”We at Queen’s University are ready and willing to work constructively with all parties as necessary to fulfil our crucial leadership role in creating positive impact for Northern Ireland.”

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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