At the recent Stormont House review I pressured Executive parties as well as the British and Irish Governments to deliver the infrastructure essential to economic growth across Northern Ireland. I flagged up the urgent need to begin upgrading the A5 and A6 as well as the need to make progress on the cross-border Narrow Water Bridge.
These key infrastructure developments must be top of the agenda if we are serious about driving effective regional economic development.
We cannot hope to develop our economy with low corporation tax alone. Investment will only follow if we invest in our infrastructure.
A bridge at Narrow Water would create real opportunity in South Down opening the Mournes, Newcastle and Downpatrick to visitors and investment from the South.
Upgrades to the A5 and A6 will be vital in providing growth West of the Bann. Without them we are in real danger of turning Northern Ireland into a two speed economy where young people from Omagh, Strabane and Derry are forced to leave home or join the dole queue.
I hope that by raising the issue during this meeting that I have impressed not only on the Stormont parties but also the Irish and British governments that it is time we get our priorities in order.