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5 September 2016 Edition

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Let’s build the island economy

• Sinn Féin's Peadar Tóibín TD

In January, Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín – as rapporteur to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation – produced the first Dáil all-Ireland economy report since partition.

Central to the post-Brexit debate in Ireland is the question of the island economy and building on the work done since the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement was ratified in 1998. 

The current make-up of the Northern Assembly and Dáil provides an unprecedented range of representation across the communities of Ireland. 

We collectively have a unique opportunity to shape the future decades of the island economy.

In January, Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín – as rapporteur to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation – produced the first Dáil all-Ireland economy report since partition. 

Tóibín said that we have a responsibility to eliminate the barriers to growth and prosperity. An implementation strategy based on the recommendations in the Report on the All-Island Economy should be “put in place in the next term of the Dáil and the Assembly”, he said.

Tóibín’s report was bolstered by the publication in March of a study by Canada’s University of British Columbia and consultancy group KLC. The Modelling Irish Unification report found that there could be a €36 billion boost to the island economy within eight years of unification and that “the North would benefit particularly from unification”. 

Some of the key findings of the Tóibín Report on the All-Island Economy are:

  1. Create a single Economic Development Agency which would integrate the IDA, Invest NI and InterTradeIreland.
  2. Develop a Border Economic Development zone.
  3. Harmonise employment policy across the island.
  4. Develop an all-island investment strategy that locates more foreign direct investment in the Border regions.
  5. Plan an all-island infrastructure strategy with such projects as a Dublin to Derry motorway, enhancing the Sligo to Dundalk road, and removing the British HGV levy in the North.
  6. Make it easier to set up a business on both sides of the Border (the 26 Counties and the Six Counties are ranked 25th and 117th in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report).
  7. Instigate an integrated public services strategy, particularly in health, energy and education. 
  8. Devise an all-island development strategy for agriculture, food, fish processing and tourism.

You can access the full Peadar Tóibín report at here

Modelling Irish Unification is available here 

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