Plan economy on cross-border basis - McGuinness

The Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA has said there's growing evidence of the need to plan the economic future of Ireland on a cross-border basis.

Speaking at the North-South Ministerial Council meeting in County Armagh, Mr McGuinness said the value of working together was shown in projects such as the planned radiotherapy centre at Altnagelvin and the link-up between the Magee campus in Derry and the Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

He said; "A number of issues in relation to the economy and the realisation that the all-Ireland economy is a reality were discussed, including the revelation that NAMA will now hold in excess of 5bn worth of assets in the north of Ireland.

"Sinn Fin also raised the issues with regards to the regulation of the Quinn group and the fact that two of the banks operating in the north are owned, and regulated, from Dublin and the impact this has on customers in all parts of the island.

"Given these and other issues there is now a clear need to recognise the economic realities that exist and plan the economy on an all-Ireland basis.

"This is essential if we are to maximise economic growth through research and development to promote and enhance indigenous companies.

"Sinn Fin's proposals for economic recovery have been published. These are based on growth through investment, job creation, and all-Ireland co-operation.

"The greater this co-operation the greater the delivery of substantial savings and stability. Evidence can be shown in more efficient and effective public service provision such as the cancer services at Altnagelvin, with the linkage of Letterkenny and Magee education campuses, and the A5 and A8 dualling projects.

"This is a very clear message that we will be putting to the people of Ireland in the forthcoming months and one that has already been widely accepted as a positive and constructive way forward."