Election 2015 Northern Ireland

Election 2015: Sinn Féin seeking £1.5bn for NI after May poll

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Media captionSinn Féin's Martin McGuinness said his party would resist further austerity and cuts to welfare

Sinn Féin is to seek an extra £1.5bn for Northern Ireland in negotiations with an incoming government.

The party said that is the amount of spending power Stormont power-sharing ministers have lost over the course of the last parliament.

The comments were made at the launch of the party's general election manifesto.

It was chaired by Michelle Gildernew, who is defending the most marginal seat in the UK, Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Deputy leader Martin McGuinness said that he does not believe any of the main parties in Northern Ireland will play a role in the formation of the next government and that any claims to the contrary were "misleading".

He said Sinn Féin would resist further austerity and cuts to welfare.

The party's manifesto said it would "return economic powers for a fair recovery".

Key priorities

Sinn Fein

Main pledges

  • End austerity - negotiate to "restore" £1.5bn for job creation and strong public services
  • Return economic powers for a fair recovery, including full control over income tax
  • Fully implement welfare protection in Stormont House agreement
  • Continue to campaign for border poll on Irish unity

The document added: "We are seeking full control over income tax, national insurance, corporation tax, capital gains tax, borrowing powers and the setting of the minimum wage.

"Financial benefits flowing from such decisions must be retained and reinvested here."

The Stormont House Agreement was signed between the five main Northern Ireland parties in December, and Prime Minister David Cameron said extra "firepower" had been agreed for the devolved administration.

Key to that was implementing welfare reform, but Sinn Féin said not enough money was available to protect the disabled and others from benefits cuts.

Image caption The Sinn Féin manifesto was launched in Dungannon

Sinn Féin has pledged to increase the participation of women in politics and said it would lobby for a bill of rights for Northern Ireland and an Irish Language Act.

Sinn Féin also said Ireland's place was within the European Union.

Other policies

  • Continuing to prioritise job creation, foreign direct investment and support for small and medium enterprises
  • Fully implementing the welfare protection in the Stormont House agreement;
  • Ensuring greater security of employment and an end to zero-hours contracts;
  • Supporting a moratorium on evictions for those in mortgage arrears
  • Seeking the provision of high-quality affordable childcare capped at 15% of income for those on low incomes and those in education and training;
  • Creating a Border Economic Development Zone to harmonise trade and maximise returns for border businesses

Sinn Féin secured five seats in the last election, but refuses to take its seats in the House of Commons.

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