There is no appetite from DUP/Sinn Féin to act collectively and decisively to ease the huge pressure on local firms and families that have resulted from the global economic crisis. In fact, on many issues of paramount to the community, DUP/Sinn Féin have failed to produce.
However on issues of mutual political benefit Sinn Féin and the DUP have managed to work together to the detriment of the political process. For the past twenty-four months the SDLP has been hearing the real concerns and fears of people across the North. They are worried about the economy, their jobs and their livelihoods. But they also have apprehensions about education, the environment and the sustainability of our rural communities. They expect our devolved institutions to have made a positive impact on their lives, their families and this entire community. In this document the SDLP set out an ambitious and innovative political agenda designed to help improve the lives of everyone in our community.
It has become evident to all that the parties on top politically are not on top of the issues. Rather they have been more concerned with undermining the power of the Assembly as a scrutiny body and preventing any meaningful debate or opposition, as was illustrated by the forcing through of the Financial Assistance Act and the lack of any action to readjust the budget.
Comfortable sharing the trappings of power, while people are uncomfortable on the ground, Sinn Féin and the DUP may not have created the global economic downturn but they did waste much better economic circumstances in the nine years they spent opposing, delaying and destabilizing our shared institutions.
In the meantime, uncertainty has gripped the North, efficiency savings are threatening front-line services and at a time when every other government was taking unprecedented action, this government gave us unprecedented inaction.
In this document the SDLP outlines some of the major failings of government here in the North. And once again we re-iterate the ideas and solutions put forward by the SDLP.
The SDLP are in politics to serve not to rule, for us government is about people, their future, their needs and their priorities.
Policy Document: Your Future, Our Priority