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York Street Interchange Project

Part of Infrastructure – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:45 pm on 15th November 2016.

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Photo of Christopher Hazzard Christopher Hazzard Sinn Féin 3:45 pm, 15th November 2016

As the Member has just outlined, we have the A5, the A6 and the other priorities; the list is endless. I engage regularly with the CBI and others and, alongside talking about projects such as the York Street interchange, they talk about the southern relief. More often than not, when it comes to the roads, they talk about the massive investment that is needed in water and waste water infrastructure and energy security, and, obviously, the Minister for the Economy will be dealing with a number of issues there.

There are a huge amount of priorities. There are more priorities than we have money for. That is why, when I make reference to the need for the British Treasury to end the wave of austerity that is crippling our budgets, again, this is not scaremongering politics or hissy fits; this is a reality. Our budgets are under serious pressure. They have been for a long number of years, and they look set to be under more pressure in the years ahead. I say to the Member — I know he has colleagues at Westminster now — that we should use our collective power as elected representatives to send the united message that we need to protect our budgets and we need to see stimulus. It is not enough that we see a capital stimulus; we cannot see the constant attack on our resource budgets, and they must let us get on with building regional growth for all our people.

As I said, I engage regularly with the CBI and the business community. The message is very clear: as well as projects such as the A5 and the A6, we need serious investment in our water infrastructure and other projects. I only wish that I had all the money to deliver all these projects.