Representatives from Northern Ireland’s leading construction industry bodies have met with politicians from the main parties to express their anger and frustration at the ongoing political deadlock at Stormont and its immediate and long term effect on jobs and investment within the sector.
Gordon Best, Regional Director QPANI, said: ‘Our politicians must understand that the political uncertainty is deterring economic investment, having a direct impact on jobs in construction and creating a mass migration of skilled workers out of Northern Ireland.
“The industry is concerned about the current and future levels of capital spend and what infrastructure projects the NI Executive will commit to.”
Mr Best added: “The Construction Industry, in its widest context, is a driver of economic growth and must be at the centre of economic policy. The current political uncertainty is delaying investment, undermining confidence and forcing many companies to find work in other parts of the UK, causing a skills migration. This will make the recovery in Northern Ireland all the more difficult if and when demand eventually picks up again. We would encourage our politicians to work hard to resolve the political deadlock before confidence further deteriorates The prize for political agreement and stability is enormous and future generations will thank them for it.”
Meanwhile, the Institution of Civil Engineers’ NI Regional Director Richard Kirk added: “Politicians must realise that the current inaction has serious implications for the quality of life of everyone in Northern Irleand. Sustained political instability causes economic uncertainty. We have seen several infrastructure projects put on hold when capital spend is halted. We need those to resume in order to deliver much-needed infrastructure, which will build our economic success for years to come.
“We appreciate the difficulty of the situation, and are grateful that the MLAs responded positively to our raised concerns.We hope to see a resolution in the coming weeks, and know that a return to business as usual will mean better quality of life for everyone in Northern Ireland.”