COVID-19: Economic Recovery

Part of The Executive Office – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 7th July 2020.

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Photo of Michelle O'Neill Michelle O'Neill Sinn Féin 2:30 pm, 7th July 2020

It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting and profound impacts on society and the economy. An immediate priority for the Executive will be to help our local businesses get through the crisis and get the economy working again. However, that does not simply mean returning to the way that things were. The crisis has allowed us to view things in a different light, and it has shown us new ways of working and given us opportunities to explore different technologies and experiment with alternative working patterns. There is no doubt that the world that emerges out of the pandemic will be significantly different to what has gone before. We need to be ready to grasp emerging good practice and be able to learn quickly from others so that we can make this a good place to live, to work and to do business. We need to achieve economic growth in a balanced and sustainable way that puts social justice, workers' rights and equality at its centre. We need to be prepared to look forward rather than back when it comes to societal recovery. We must, however, acknowledge and help with the trauma that people have suffered, particularly those who have lost loved ones. Those are issues that will need to be explored with key stakeholders across all sectors as we start to plan for the recovery and as we bring forward our new Programme for Government.