N. Ireland Politics

Sinn Fein unity referendum pledge in assembly manifesto

Sinn Fein is seeking a referendum on Irish unity in its assembly manifesto.

The party is also proposing a referendum on a new all-Ireland constitution, and wants people in Northern Ireland to be allowed to vote in Irish presidential elections.

It calls for tax-varying and borrowing powers to be transferred to Stormont, and cross-border tax harmonisation.

Martin McGuinness said "much has changed" in the four years following the restoration of devolution in 2007.

"The locally elected executive, assembly and all-Ireland bodies are working for the benefit of people across this island," he said.

Mr McGuinness added: "As a society we cannot allow those within and those outside the political process attempt to drag us back. They cannot and will not be allowed to succeed. Those days are gone and will not return.

"While we all retain our differences, we can all be proud of the role we have played in promoting the peace process, by stabilising these institutions and demonstrating the primacy of politics."

Pledges in the Sinn Fein manifesto include:

  • Increasing economic and fiscal powers away from London to Stormont;
  • Implementing the Review of Public Administration to deliver £400m in savings, including the reduction of councils from 26 to 11;
  • Blocking the introduction of separate household water charges;
  • Opposing any increases in student fees;
  • Introducing a phone mast levy to generate £160m over four years;
  • Delivering Bill of Rights;
  • Promoting the Irish language act, and implementing all-Ireland strategy to create new Gaeltacht areas, particularly in urban centres;
  • Bringing in all-Ireland public health system which provides free care at point of delivery;
  • Reinstating 50-50 Catholic/Protestant recruitment policy to the PSNI;
  • Establish all-Ireland job creation plan.

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