Department for the Economy NI Minister Conor Murphy sets out his vision for the future of Northern Ireland economy.

Speaking in the Assembly the Minister set out four key priorities as part of a new Economic Mission. He said:

“One objective is to create Good Jobs. Many workers and their families are denied a decent standard of living. We must change this by investing in affordable childcare and by strengthening trade unions, particularly in low-paid industries.

“A second objective is to promote Regional Balance. Everyone, no matter where they live, should have the same opportunity to earn a living. To achieve this I will fund local economic strategies and prioritise projects that promote regional balance, such as the expansion of the Magee campus.”

Another objective is to raise Productivity, and the Minister explained:

“Productivity is a fundamental driver of overall living standards. We can improve our productivity by using dual market access to grow domestic exports and attract highly productive investment. Investment in skills, research and development, and innovation will also drive better productivity.

“My final, critical, objective is to reduce carbon emissions. Reaching Net Zero by 2050 is a legal requirement and a moral obligation to the wellbeing of future generations. Done right, the transition can also generate prosperity for all.”

Concluding, the Minister stressed the need to move quickly to realise his vision and said:

“My Department will move at pace to put this vision into action. Its focus will be on delivery. We have a lot of work to do to turn this economy around and that work starts now.”

The Economy Minister also announced that he has appointed four independent experts to advise his Department on his four objectives. They are:

  • On Good Jobs, Dr Lisa Wilson from the Nevin Economic Research Institute.
  • On Regional Balance, Dr Conor Patterson from the Newry and Mourne Co-operative and Enterprise Agency.
  • On Productivity, Dr David Jordan from the Productivity Institute.
  • On Net Zero, Professor David Rooney from the Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy.