Murphy plans to ‘turn economy around’ with good jobs and improved productivity

Conor Murphy has vowed to turn Northern Ireland’s economy around with a new economic vision for the next three years.

The plan will prioritise creating good jobs, increasing productivity, achieving regional balance, and reducing carbon emissions in accordance with the legal requirement to reach net zero by 2050.

It will use the Windsor Framework to grow exports and attract more investment, and take “full advantage of the all-Ireland economy”.

Addressing the Assembly on Monday, Economy Minister Mr Murphy said it is important to be honest about the challenges, describing low employment rates, low productivity, low wages and regional imbalances as “having deep roots”, but said they “can be overcome”.

Mr Murphy also referred to the post-Brexit landscape, saying the Windsor Framework protects the all-Ireland economy, which he described as having “tremendous unrealised potential”.

Meanwhile Invest NI will have a new regional structure dedicated to “home-grown small/medium enterprises and start-ups”.

“One objective is to create good jobs. Many workers and their families are denied a decent standard of living,” Mr Murphy told MLAs.

“We must change this by investing in affordable childcare and by strengthening trade unions, particularly in low-paid industries.

“Productivity is a fundamental driver of overall living standards. We can improve our productivity by using dual-market access to grow exports and attract highly productive investment.

“Investment in skills, research and development and innovation will also drive better productivity.

“My final, critical, objective is to reduce carbon emissions. Reaching net zero by 2050 is a legal requirement and a moral obligation to the wellbeing of future generations. Done right the transition can also generate prosperity for all.”

He added: “My department will move at pace to put this vision into action. Its focus will be on delivery. We have a lot of work to do to turn this economy around, and that work starts now.”

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