Bradley calls for real election debate on jobs and economy

April 20, 2010

The SDLP’s Westminster candidate for Newry and Armagh, Dominic Bradley MLA, has called for the crucial issues of jobs and the economy to be put at the heart of the general election debate.

“I and my canvass teams are out across Newry and Armagh and every one of our canvassers is reporting that jobs and the economy are the big concerns on the doorsteps, but that is not being reflected in the media debate,” Mr Bradley said.

“The SDLP has tabled strong proposals for boosting our economy but the other parties are not debating them or any other proposals. In fact they are ignoring the whole area of the economy.  It seems sectarian voting pacts make easier headlines.

“No matter what the outcome of this election there are massive cuts coming down the line starting with the public sector.  Obsessions with tribal head-counting will not help much if the Tories take the axe to front-line services, with or without the help of local allies.  Our economy is highly dependent on the public sector so we are particularly vulnerable.”

Mr Bradley continued: “An empty seat at Westminster is no way to fight for the people of Newry and Armagh.  People are really feeling the strain of the econonmy and job cuts, we cannot afford to have no repesentation on the floor of the House of Commons.  We need representation at Westminster which understands the threat to jobs and knows how to fight it. And we need to agree credible strategies at Executive level for protecting the jobs we have and creating new ones, not in two or three years when the international economy picks up, but right now.

“There is a strong consensus among local economists about what needs to be done to kickstart the local economy. All we are lacking is a matching political consensus to go and do it,” he added.