Adams wants transfer of fiscal powers
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams tells UTV the reasons for voting for the republican party are "peace" and "jobs", in one of a series of interviews with Northern Ireland's political party leaders ahead of polling day.
Friday, 30 April 2010
During the campaign, Sinn Fein has been repeatedly challenged over their continued refusal to sit at Westminster where cuts will be discussed after the election.
"We don't attend Westminster as a matter of principle. We're also bringing powers from London to Ireland. The other parties don't attend and their record is very, very clear. They haven't been part of the big votes; their attendance is within the worst of the 646 MPs," Mr Adams said.
Launching Sinn Fein's manifesto earlier this week, Mr Adams urged all parties in the region to unite against cuts.
He described politicians in Northern Ireland as "accountants" with little control over the levers of fiscal policy and said greater powers need to be granted to Stormont.
"What we need to do is to unite here and I want to appeal to the other parties, to the SDLP and to both unionist parties, to stop the rhetoric about opposing cuts and to join with us and be led by Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson to face down the next British Government and making sure that we get a proper subvention and arguing for fiscal powers and for the levers of economic control to be here so that we can plan our economy and stop the rhetoric about opposing cuts while they're supporting Tories in both Fermanagh and South Tyrone and in other constituencies", he told UTV.
Asked about the spending cuts that Northern Ireland politicians will have to implement in the coming months, Mr Adams said Sinn Fein was "not contemplating cutting front-line services", but would instead "go for efficiencies, get rid of the fat cats, deal with the bureaucracy".
Mr Adams said it was time Northern Ireland planned its "own economy; work it out across this island, go for the harmonisation of corporation tax, go for proper jobs, get the banks to loan to small businesses, and build the economy".
Mr Adams also strongly defended Sinn Fein's record over the past five years.
"We have delivered on a whole range of issues. We brought about events which people said was not possible," he said in reference to the new power-sharing administration and the devolution of policing and justice powers brought about by the St Andrews and Hillsborough agreements.
"We want to bring that energy and that vision and that strategic application and determination into dealing with the economy. We're looking for peace, we're looking for jobs, we're looking for equality and we're looking for unity."