New umbrella business body in plea to keep Stormont alive
AS talks begin to resolve another political crisis in the north, a new umbrella business body representing industry, the voluntary sector, farming and trade unions has urged all the political parties at Stormont as well as the British and Irish governments and USA interests to ensure the continuation of the political institutions.
A statement made by Concordia - which represents the CBI, ICTU, NICVA and UFU - says its members are seeking a total end to violence by all paramilitary groups irrespective of whatever community they come from.
"Violence of any form has exacerbated the socio-economic situation affecting all citizens in Northern Ireland but with a particular impact on those living in our marginalised communities," Concordia says in its statement.
"Our appeal for the continuation of the political institutions in Northern Ireland is premised on our belief that we can only achieve a thriving economy rooted in equality and justice for all in a society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
"The current political situation is undermining business and consumer confidence. Political stability through effective government is the foundation for a successful economy delivering increased living standards for all."
The group added: "We as social partners in our representative organisations hold differences of opinion on many policy issues and we will not always agree with or support every Northern Ireland Executive decision.
"But we are united in recognising that good government that functions and makes decisions is needed locally and that a financial stimulus to increase investment in skills and infrastructure is necessary."