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Sinn Féin Ard Fheis hears demand for full Stormont fiscal powers

RTÉ plans to broadcast this weekend's Sinn Féin Ard Fheis including Gerry Adams's speech. Picture by Julien Behal/PA Wire

THE Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin's Convention Centre has heard that only when the British Government transfers full fiscal powers to Stormont will the full potential of the all Ireland economy be realised.

Hundreds of delegates have gathered in Dublin for the two day event which will culminate in a speech by party president Gerry Adams this evening. However his address will not be broadcast by the BBC in the north because of election guidelines ahead of the Assembly voting on May 5.

West Tyrone Assembly election candidate Grace McDermott said that Sinn Féin had mounted a strong defence against "Tory cuts" but only the transfer of full powers would ensure that local infrastructure had adequate investment.

"British control over the northern economy has failed Ireland. Taking Economic Power back from Westminster is not optional, it is essential. By taking economic power from Westminster we have the potential to transform Ireland.

"British Tories are not meeting our aspirations for Ireland, our health service, or our education system; they are cutting the tax credits that working people rely upon, they are failing to create the jobs and opportunities that our young people need.

"It’s time to demand the full transfer of economic powers from Britain back to the north. Sinn Féin have consistently delivered in the face of 100’s of millions of Tory cuts to our local budget. We have blocked water charges, kept the cost of university tuition down – helping tens of thousands students access university.

"We have kept bus passes for our pensioners and free prescriptions for sick people. We have protected the people from the bedroom tax and welfare cuts, we have fought for the living wage. We have retained the EMA. Access to greater economic powers will allow us to achieve more."

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