Saturday 15 September 2012

Green MLA says Executive must capitalise on growth of Green Tech Sector

Green MLA Steven Agnew is demanding that Executive take the maximum economic opportunities afforded by the ‘Green Economy’.

Speaking after today’s ETI Committee meeting, where a letter from the Construction Employer’s Federation expressing its member’s ‘dismay’ at the effective scrapping of the Green New Deal (GND) was presented, the North Down MLA said: “Local companies and large business federations recognise the economic benefits the Green New Deal would have provided.

“The Executive now needs to take urgent action and re-consider its ill-conceived scrapping of the Green New Deal retrofit proposals.

“By deciding to re-directed the funds set aside for the Green New Deal, DSD Minister Nelson McCausland has effectively ignored the considerable economic advantages the GND would have brought to Northern Ireland as a whole and to individual householders.

“The Construction Employers Federation represents around 1000 construction companies in Northern Ireland and it was dismayed at the scrapping of the GND as it saw it as an opportunity for quickly providing significant employment through retro-fitting insulation in old housing stock and the construction of new homes.

“It would have also reduced fuel poverty putting more money in the pockets of hard-pressed families and individuals therefore creating a multiplier effect for our local economy and stimulating broader economic growth.

“The decision to scrap the Green New was wrong and we need urgent action to reverse that decision before the opportunity to capitalise on the benefits of the GND are lost.

“The green economy is delivering more jobs in Northern Ireland than the motor trade, financial services sector and telecommunications combined.

“While the UK's general economy is predicted only to return to 2007 levels by 2014, the green economy is tipped to grow by 40% in that time.

“There is real potential for the Green Economy in Northern Ireland but not enough is being done at an Executive level to harness that and to capitalise on it.”

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