NI Conservatives’ economy spokesman, Johnny Andrews, praised the Secretary of State for showing “immense patience with the Executive parties in Northern Ireland”, after a new plan to deliver the Stormont House Agreement was announced at Stormont. He urged the parties to “finally get on with delivering on their commitments and show some sense of responsibility”.
“Theresa Villiers has shown incredible forbearance, as the DUP and Sinn Fein took 10 weeks to agree this document”, Johnny noted. “It’s worth remembering that, for all Sinn Fein’s bluster, these talks were necessary because of their links with the IRA and the fact that they hadn’t lived up to their political commitments undertaken at Stormont House. The Secretary of State has been steadfast and insisted that welfare reform, which is vitally important to Northern Ireland’s future, should be central to any new deal.”
“This document is called A Fresh Start: The Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan and that reflects the fact that it is about implementing an agreement which was signed almost a year ago. There simply can be no more excuses for further delays. Northern Ireland’s economy needs a clear timetable to cut Corporation Tax, people who are trapped in dependency need welfare reform and our society needs action on integration to deliver a prosperous private sector and competitive economy. It’s time for our parties to finally take responsibility for governing Northern Ireland and make devolution work.”