Reforming Government

We should be using the reduction in public spending across the UK as a springboard for reforming the size and scope of government in Northern Ireland. 108 MLAs and 12 Government Departments for less than 1.8 million people is unnecessary. I support a radical reduction in the number of Assembly Members, Government Departments and North South Bodies, as well as a genuine debate about who is best placed to deliver vital high quality services to the public in the most cost effective way.

Creating a stronger economy

Northern Ireland is now the most successful region of the UK when it comes to attracting inward investment. Not only have a number of well known big corporations decided to base themselves here over the past few years, but we have also witnessed home grown local businesses successfully exporting their products across the world. We need to continue to support local entrepreneurs, encourage employers to grow their business and export into new markets and ensure that we continue to have well educated graduates to meet the demand of employers.

Delivering a quicker, fairer Justice System

Since being appointed Chairman of the Justice Committee at the NI Assembly I have driven an agenda of innovation and new thinking through my ‘Justice Seminar’ initiative. Through this forum I am committed to finding evidence based, outcome driven policies that can deliver better outcomes for victims and communities by encouraging early interventions and more appropriate measures to tackle crime and reduce reoffending. I have led the local debate on new approaches such as online dispute resolution, problem solving courts and compulsory work programmes for offenders.

Valuing education

A good education allows people to fulfil their potential, achieve greater things and make better life choices. I am a supporter of greater resources being directed to early years education, support for parents and students in challenging family circumstances and academic selection as a means of promoting social mobility.

Promoting Personal Responsibility

Ronald Reagan once said that ‘Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives’. Too often we hear politicians from all parties come up with legislative proposals aimed at taking decisions for people, rather than empowering them to take their own. I support promoting greater levels of personal responsibility, allowing people the freedom to make their own life choices and limiting the role that government plays in peoples everyday lives.