Restoring political stability should be a “primary concern” to help address a litany of pressing issues ranging from scrapping work-from-home guidance to tackling the skills gap, the Northern Ireland Business Alliance has said.
The Alliance is a partnership between the Confederation of British Industry Northern Ireland (CBI NI), the Center for Competitiveness, the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Northern Ireland. ‘North Ireland.
In a joint statement, trade body leaders said:
“Just weeks away from the polls, we are once again bombarded with a daily dose of politics and demagogy that fills the void left by the collapse of the executive.
“Restoring local government should be the overriding concern, and we simply need to see it up and running again for all of our citizens after the election.
“With key policy decisions now on hold, businesses here are at a disadvantage compared to our neighbors in the rest of the UK and Ireland.
“The worst of the Covid health crisis is now behind us and restrictions have been lifted for the hospitality sector, yet we are still subject to work-from-home guidelines that have been waived elsewhere.
“It’s not about forcing people back to work – it’s about supporting the businesses in our towns and cities, from cafes to independent retailers who depend on the custom of workers, most of whom have disappeared overnight.
“In a world of shrinking labor markets, we also continue to face persistent skills shortages across all sectors and at all levels. This problem needs to be addressed urgently with a focus on reinvigorating the economically inactive and removing the cap on funding for higher and further education.
“As the Business Alliance, we will be requesting meetings with each of the party leaders as we seek to raise the voice of business for the good of all of society.”
The leaders of the organizations that form the Business Alliance are: Stephen Kingon, President, Center for Competitiveness; Adrian Doran, President, CBI NI; Gordon Milligan, President, IoD NI; Paul Murnaghan, President, NI Chamber of Commerce.