Are we seeing the end of the DUP/Sinn Fein approach to the economy?

The Economy spokesperson for Sinn Fein, Conor Murphy had a platform piece in the Belfast Telegraph this morning about the under performance of the Northern Ireland economy over the past decade of devolution which has some interesting content in it.

He argues;

A proper Industrial Strategy requires rigor and an attention to detail. These are not qualities typically associated with the DUP’s decade in control of the main economic Department.

DUP ministers comfortably talked the language of the business community and confidently recited economic statistics which gave the appearance of success. But underneath the spin and the swagger the north’s economy continued to underperform.

When the Executive is restored a radical improvement in the Industrial Strategy will be required.

The article is critical of the then Economy Minister, Simon Hamilton’s proposals as simply being more of the same and that previous proposals had ensured that Northern Ireland lagged behind.

Some questions come to mind from this

  1. Does this represent the end of the DUP/Sinn Fein economic consensus that had existed on a broad range of economic issues from 2007-2017?
  2. Will we see a different approach from Sinn Fein towards economic policy? Until 2016, the party had never held an economic department.
  3. How will this be fleshed out in terms of concrete proposals? Will there be a more left leaning approach in a future Executive?

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs