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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Sinn Fein's manifesto challenges
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
The Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein has laid down challenges for the two governments and unionists if the IRA decides to abandon the "armed struggle" for purely political means.

Launching their election manifesto, party president Gerry Adams also called for the British government to move on policing and justice issues.

He said unionists in Northern Ireland must accept equality and human rights.

Mr Adams also said the Irish government would have to address what he called "the united Ireland agenda".

The party's manifesto, published on Friday, called for the scaling down of military bases and the Army's presence in Northern Ireland.

SINN FEIN MANIFESTO
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It claimed it was unacceptable that, eight years after the Good Friday Agreement, more British troops were in the province than in Iraq.

The party stressed the importance of transferring responsibility for policing and justice from Westminster to the next government at Stormont.

Sinn Fein also said in the event of the powers being devolved, Gerry Adams would recommend to his national executive that a special party conference be held, but only once the British government had enacted new policing legislation.

The main points of the Sinn Fein manifesto include:

  • Repealing anti-terror legislation

  • Setting up a proper inquiry into alleged security force collusion with loyalists in the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane

  • Rejecting water charges in Northern Ireland and privatisation of services

  • Increasing capital gains tax for owners of several homes, a 50% tax band for incomes in excess of 100,000, removing the low-paid out of the tax net

  • Seeking a green paper from the Irish government setting out its strategy for a united Ireland, with a minister of state appointed in Dublin to oversee this

  • Economic planning for Irish unity such as the development of a common currency throughout the island and a harmonised tax regime

  • Seeking participation for Northern Ireland's 18 MPs in the Irish Republic's parliament and senate

  • Additional funding for small rural primary schools to keep them open, expanding the school breakfast programme and after-schools clubs

  • Ending academic selection with all-ability comprehensive schools for 11 to 18-year-olds

  • Extending student loans and grants programmes, abolishing top-up fees and establishing an Irish language higher education sector

  • Creating a minister for children at Stormont and increasing the level of child benefit

  • Moving towards an all-Ireland health service

  • Introducing a properly resourced waste management strategy based on reduction, reuse and recycling, rejecting incineration to dispose of waste

  • Introducing early retirement schemes in farming, the lifting of the beef export ban in Brussels and the removal of UK status from food exports from Northern Ireland

  • Creating a commissioner for the Irish language in Northern Ireland and a commissioner for senior citizens.



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