Northern Ireland Election 2016

NI assembly election: Sinn Féin pledges to create 50,000 jobs

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Media captionThe party are standing 39 candidates in next month's election

Sinn Féin has launched its manifesto for the assembly election, promising to create 50,000 jobs and to spend an extra £1bn on health.

The party has also pledged to spend £6bn on new roads and public transport and to increase spending on childcare by more than £500m.

On welfare, it says £500m will be set aside to help those most in need.

The measures are set out in the party's 10-point plan for government.

Many of them have already been agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive.

Sinn Féin - the last of the five main parties to publish its manifesto - is standing 39 candidates across the 18 constituencies. It is hoping to add to its 29 assembly seats.

The party's top two pledges - 50,000 new jobs and an extra £1bn for health - are exactly the same as those set out by the DUP in its five-point plan for government.

Other pledges include:

  • £6bn to be spent on new roads and public transport
  • Build 10,000 new social and affordable homes
  • Extra £525m to be spent on childcare

'Negativity and blatant opportunism'

Launching the manifesto in Londonderry on Wednesday, Martin McGuinness said: "We have had five years of political instability as a result of Tory austerity and also negativity and blatant opportunism by some political parties.

"My priority is to bring forward and implement a Programme for Government that grows the economy, provides proper public services and promotes equality and inclusion."

Other priorities listed in the manifesto include ring-fencing funding for frontline policing, ending regional inequalities in job creation and extending fast speed broadband to rural communities.

The party also reaffirms its commitment to delivering "an affordable and harmonised corporation tax by 2018".

On health, Sinn Féin is proposing changing the way health services are commissioned, removing what it calls the "internal market" and increasing first year training intake for GP specialism.

While on education the party's doesn't directly address the controversy around unregulated selection tests but it does promise to "deliver better outcomes for children through provision which is appropriate to both a child's age and and stage of development".

The DUP has also pledged to create 50,000 jobs and spend an extra £1bn on health.

"You can see the similarities between what the DUP and ourselves are saying," Mr McGuinness said.

"I think that should be, if you like, a clear indicator to people out there that at least we and the DUP are getting our act together and also being part of an administration which is prepared to confront sectarianism, racism and homophobia."

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