Make it work!
As part of the strong, 28-member-strong Sinn Féin team returned in the Assembly elections, I have a mandate as Finance Minister to deliver a fresh start for people right across the north.
And that, more than anything, means creating jobs, lifting families out of poverty, opening up access to further education to more young people and working on a positive cross-community and cross-border basis. It certainly means boosting young entrepreneurs and growing the funding ‘pie’ available to me by attracting investment and support from home and abroad on the basis of the compelling offering and unbeatable opportunity we offer.
On the way to Stormont to accept my appointment on Wednesday, I stopped off at Sandy Row, a strong loyalist area in the heart of Belfast, to meet local leaders spearheading the transformation of a proud community which has been ravaged by poverty and joblessness. Yesterday, I was in Ireland’s greatest Irish language centre An Chultúrlann on the famed Falls Road, an enterprise which has bold plans for expansion. ’Ná habair é – déan é’ (‘don’t say it, do it’) is in the DNA of the leaders I met but they — and so many others across the north — could scale even greater heights if a united government was clearing the path for them and providing them with the resources they need to build a brighter future.
That’s our mission.
Let’s make it work!