Green Party submits response to Programme for Government consultation

The Green Party NI has submitted its response to the public consultation on the draft Programme for Government (PfG) 2016-2021.

Our response highlights areas where the Executive is on track as well as areas for improvement.

Green Party NI Acting Chairperson Rowan Tunnicliffe identified two key issues through the consultation response:

“The PfG document needs to be more ambitious. Many of the actions the Executive commit to in it are, in fact, legal requirements. For example, the development of a Children and Young People’s Strategy is required under Steven Agnew’s Children’s Services Co-operation Act.

“The Executive should be meeting their legal requirements as a bare minimum and then setting their sights above and beyond that. This document presents a perfect opportunity to commit to decriminalise abortion, create an independent environmental protection agency and scrap the disastrous Corporation Tax cut, for example. Unfortunately, it seems that this will be yet another missed opportunity to bring positive change to Northern Ireland.”

Mr Tunnicliffe added:

“The draft PfG also places a disproportionate focus on growing the private sector economy.

“While we support fully private sector growth, it is not a panacea and promoting it is not the Executive’s one and only job. The government needs to ensure that other priorities are given sufficient focus as well.

“Finally, the Green Party looks forward to shaping as well as scrutinising the Executive’s work across the coming mandate.”

The Green Party’s full submission to the consultation can be found here. (Opens as PDF).