West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

SDLP accused of rejectionist politics on A5 and A6 roads projects

Published: 22 January, 2016

West Tyrone MLA Declan Mc Aleer has slammed the SDLP for engaging in 'rejectionist and negative politics' over their decision to vote against a half a billion pound investment in the A5 and A6 roads projects.

Mr Mc Aleer said "The budget which was passed on Tuesday heralded good news for the north west with £229 million earmarked for the A5 and £258 million for the A6 up until 2020/21.
"On Wednesday at the DRD committee, we heard from the DRD director of Finance that work on the A5 draft order was complete and that the Minister and her officials are currently planning how the project will be delivered on the ground.

"We also heard that the funding would also enable progress to be made on other sections, namely the Dungiven by-pass and the Omagh to Ballygawley section of the A5.

"Bizarrely, for a party that allegedly supports these major projects, the SDLP voted againt the budget and the commitment of £75m from the Irish government to the A5. Instead, they are attempting to sow seeds of confusion and uncertainty by engaging in filibustering and ill informed public comment without presenting any alternative.

"It is important for the public to realise that had the other parties adopted the SDLP rejectionist approach to the budget on Tuesday, there would be serious repercussions. Firstly, without agreeing a budget, the assembly would collapse so there would be no executive funding for these or any other projects, there would be no contribution of £75m from the Irish government as this is predicated on a budget settlement and there would be no A5 or A6 projects.

"The reality is that the Executive remains completely committed to these key projects and these intentions have been mapped out in the budget profile for flagship projects. Whilst the year on year spend on the schemes may increase or decrease, the fact is that the executive remains committed.

"This announcement is great news for motorists, contractors and the wider economy. People need hope and not the tirade of rejection and negativity that we see coming from the SDLP"