DUP launch Arlene’s Plan for Northern Ireland

AAA-All About Arlene

AAA-All About Arlene

The first of the major parties out of the traps with their manifesto was the DUP this morning, who on the

Shankill Road in West Belfast (a key DUP target seat) set out their policies for the next five years and focused heavily on their party leader, Arlene Foster.

I thought I would go through the 31 page document and highlight some of the key bits.

The first thing that catches your eye is that it really is the triple A factor-All About Arlene. This is clearly Arlene’s plan and vision and the party must be hearing on the doors that she is a key electoral asset for them.

The document goes through the DUP’s achievements in government in areas like Health, Investment, Skills and reform of Stormont, whilst also listing some key priorities for the DUP in the next mandate.

Economy

The party pledges 50,000 more jobs and would be opening to consider lowering Corporation Tax down to

More Jobs, lower taxes

More Jobs, lower taxes

10%. They also have an interesting idea to devolved powers to local councils to allow them to vary business rates by up to 3%, although it doesn’t mention if they can raise them by 3%.

The party argues that these plans are built up their record to date as they say that in the last mandate the Executive helped create 40,000 new jobs and £2.9 billion of investment.

The fact that they exceeded most of their investment and job targets had led to these fairly optimistic plans for the next mandate.

Health

The party are also making some expensive commitments on Health pledging AT LEAST £1 Billion within the next five years to the department. They pledge to use this money to tackle waiting lists and also employ 1,500 more Nurses and 200 more consultants over the next five years.

EducationDUP Education

The DUP don’t put a price tag on their education promises. Instead they have opted for greater powers for Principals and Board of Governors to manage their budgets.

In point 5, the party pledges to tackle educational underachievement and pledges to place an emphasis on the Numeracy & Literacy Signature Project.

The party will continue to support Shared Education and plan to fully implement the proposals in the Fresh Start Agreement.

They also want to tackle what they perceive to be preferential treatment for Irish Medium school building and the abolition of the Catholic Teacher Training Certificate.

Political Reform

The DUP believes that the time is right to reform the system of donations and implement the same regime as exists across the UK. They specifically highlight barring political parties from accepting donations outside of the UK and publishing of donations.

Next up they argue the case for reforming how Assembly expenses are administered. The DUP believe that a similar body to ISPA which operates at Westminster is the best module to go for in terms of deciding expenses and regulating business costs.

They also make the pitch for a voluntary coalition at Stormont arguing for a weighted majority voting system of 65% with the objective of ending community designation in the Assembly chamber.

The centenary of Northern Ireland

Key points here are the public holiday on 5th May 2021 (although it’s a Wednesday) for the founding of Northern Ireland and the gift of a baby box to every child born in 2021 based on the Finnish model (It’s not as daft as it sounds).

They also propose a partition payment of sorts by giving each person who as lived throughout Northern Ireland’s first century £1,000.

DUP 2021

JusticeDUP Victims

On justice issues the party propose dealing with the victims issues is that a draft bill should be published and that victims of the Troubles should be allowed to provide feedback on the measures contained within the bill.

On reforming the courts, the party aims to establish what they call “problem solving courts” with a focus on domestic violence and drugs courts. The aim is to reduce costs and reoffending.

They also propose the introduction of body cameras for PSNI officers which they claim can help drive up standards, deal with complaints and assist in evidence gathering.  However, an interesting reform would be the introduction of cameras into some court rooms.

 

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  • ted hagan

    I actually believe Arlene has the ability to produce something. She is a decent woman. But it will take bravery, courage and imagination… and ruthlessness.

  • Cosmo

    well summarised.
    Hallions… majoring in heritage and architectural insensitivity.

  • Thomas Barber

    Gerry Adams was never in Prison he was interned and I dont think anyone from the 26 counties was interned with him so in other words he doesn’t speak what you term Prison Irish.

  • Thomas Barber

    You have to be sentenced to a prison term Reader and Im pretty sure he wasn’t.

  • Paddy Reilly

    It depends which shop you go into.

  • Jollyraj

    Well, as I’ve quite clearly said, I’m not an Irish speaker – I’ve merely quoted the opinion of someone who is. I’ve got respect for all languages.

    As I cannot judge it myself, any Irish speakers out there in the sluggersphere care to assess Gerry’s proficiency/lack thereof? He’s certainly had long enough to learn it.

  • Jollyraj

    You’re free to opt out any time.

  • Thomas Barber

    Gerry Adams speaks Ulster Gaelic but then again with a name like Adams maybe he speaks Scottish Gaelic.

  • Annie Breensson

    Put the grand towards your funeral costs

  • Annie Breensson

    Eastern Welsh – otherwise known as English

  • Alan N/Ards

    “A Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people”.

    I assume you are referring to Craig’s speech in response to de Valera’s speech in which he referred to himself as Catholic first and Ireland as a Catholic nation. I believe he reminded the papal legate of the words of St. Patrick “that even as you are children of Christ, be you also children of Rome.”

    Your quote however is wrong. Craig ( when addressing the parliament) said: “Hon. Members must remember that in the south they boasted of a Catholic state. They still boast of Southern Ireland being a Catholic state. All I boast of is that we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant state.”

    Personally speaking, I believe Craig’s response to de Valera’s speech was not needed and he shouldn’t have made the comments he made. Saying that, de Valera did exclude the protestant people from the Irish nation by the words he used. He obviously wasn’t a follower of McCracken and Tone who tried to unite catholic. protestant and dissenter under the name Irishmen.

    These two men did a lot of damage to relations on this island. But their words of eighty odd years ago do no relate to the island as it is now. The south is no longer a catholic state and Northern Ireland (and its parliament) is a place that doesn’t just belong to one side, or the other.

  • ted hagan

    It has a merchant navy and some patrol boats

  • Reader

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/478513.stm
    I’m not so sure of your source for the size of the mobs, though. And I’m fairly sure that nationalists are certain of their contention that Castlereagh isn’t part of Belfast.

  • Zorin001

    I looked for the social issues straight away (Gay Marriage, Abortion etc.) and not a peep.

    The DUP know the currents against them and its only a matter of time, look at the new Abortion guidelines; no way that Poots would have put out something along those lines during his tenure. Saying that I think it’ll be the courts that force through the change so the DUP can hold their hands up and say “Not me Guv, blame the Judges”

  • Kevin Breslin

    That’s because Finnish, Basque and Hungarian (and Estonian) are not Indo-European GreenFlag2. This is one branch of a bigger linguistic tree.
    Unlike language isolates within the Indo-European family such as Albanian, Armenian and Greek their links to a common Indo-European ancestor is questionable.
    Another European language not in the Indo-European family is Maltese which is a Semitic languague like Arabic and Hebrew.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I had thought the only time Gerry Adams was behind bars was a job where he was loading and counting the stock. 😀

  • Kevin Breslin

    Maybe it can be used as a peace offering to nationalists, live through 100 years of partition and you get compensation.

  • Kevin Breslin

    How about living in Northern Ireland for that long and not emigrating?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Got to give them credit for trying to put their own stamp on the pro-Union market, most people will think they really don’t have much to work with.

  • Gaygael

    If its not in their manifesto, they don’t need to oppose. The 2011 one talked about ‘defending traditional marriage’ (I hope its not some of those sexist, slave owning, wife raping ones) and Arlene was very clear on the view that it was a manifesto commitment.
    No such commitment this time. Detox begins. Will they move to free vote or just solidly voting against but not abusing the petition of concern? I think the second is more likely. They also agreed the protocol of using the PofC. Interestingly, it can be inviked to kill motions or calls on ministers to act. However, it doesn’t mention PMBs.
    They want this headache to go away. It is costing them votes and allies. They would be happy to lose early on, as there isn’t another election until 2019.

  • the keep

    But then he wouldn’t be able to whinge so that would be no use for him would it?

  • Reader

    Then take that up with the Shinners – it’s their website. They don’t pay any attention to me: I asked about their policy on abortion years ago and I still haven’t heard a peep out of them since.

  • ted hagan

    It would be brilliant if the first recipient was a rabid former IRA combatant.

  • Paddy Reilly

    If you go into Easons and ask for a mouse you will get a piece of plastic. If you go into a pet shop you will get a creature with a tail. I believe that in the far west a café keeper may say “Ar mhaith libh tae nó caife?” even today.

  • Paddy Reilly

    I find that in the Gaeltacht the sharp distinction of professions observed in other parts of the world does not always apply, so you may find a grocer doubling as a Funeral Director. So theoretically, you might be asked “Ar mhaith leat tae, caife, luchóg bheo, luchóg seaclaid nó luchóg leictreach, nó an amhlaigh gur bhfuair do shean-mháthair bás sa dheireadh thiar, go ndeanfaí Dia trócaire uirthi.”