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Ballymoney
Sunday, September 27, 2020

Philip McGuigan ‘committed to working’ with the other North Antrim MLAs
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North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has welcomed the deal to re establish the Assembly.

Speaking after power sharing was restarted on Saturday, the MLA said the new opportunity must be ‘grasped to deliver for all the citizens of the North’.

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Mr. McGuigan went on to say:

“I hope this opportunity will allow us all to move forward in a spirit of generosity and equality where the Executive and Assembly work together to improve the lives of citizens here in North Antrim and beyond.

“I am delighted that this deal has delivered An Acht Gaeilge, with official, legal recognition of the Irish language for the first time, an Irish language Commissioner and increased Irish language funding. I am delighted that it has reformed the Petition of Concern to hopefully end its misuse as a veto and block progressive change. I am delighted that key measures will be introduced to ensure transparency and accountability to prevent corruption and bad practice and to implement the recommendations arising from the RHI Inquiry.

“Over and above that I am delighted that the new deal has strategies to tackle poverty, sectarianism and has a plan to put objective need at the heart of the Programme for Government.”

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Going on to talk about the current Health crisis , Mr McGuigan spoke about ‘repairing the damage of Tory austerity’

“Key to the success of this deal and the new start will be the delivery of promised finance to start to repair the damage of Tory austerity and help deal with the crisis in our health service including a commitment to settle the health service strike, an action plan on waiting lists, implementing the Bengoa recommendations on health and social care and a mental health action plan.

“There are also a range of proposals to support our teachers and improve education provision, welfare mitigations to be extended beyond March 2020, proposals on workers’ rights and climate change, investment in stadia including Casement Park and ending regional imbalance. “

Finishing off, Philip addressed the challenge the Assembly faces.

“The biggest and most significant challenge will be ensuring that we have genuine power sharing based on equality, respect and integrity.

“I believe that the power sharing government can work. That requires all of us elected to the Assembly to play our part. I am committed to working with the other 4 MLA’s in this constituency to ensure that the people of North Antrim see real change over the next two years of the political mandate. We can do this while maintaining our independent distinct political identities.

“I also congratulate Robin Swann on becoming the new Health Minister and wish him well in this challenging role.”

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