Page last updated at 22:58 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 23:58 UK

Parties react to debate issues

The Alliance Party, Traditional Unionist Voice and Green Party have been reacting to issues raised in the television debate between the leaders of the four main Northern Ireland parties.

SHOULD THE ARMY RETURN TO THE STREETS IF THE CHIEF CONSTABLE FEELS IT IS NECESSARY

Naomi Long, Alliance Party: "I think it is important that we ensure that it will be an operational decision for the chief constable.

"First of all, one of the concerns is over the type of threat we are facing, the second issue is the impact it would have on the community we are trying to cooperate with the police to bring that threat to an end, therefore it's important community policing has the opportunity to continue.

The Alliance Party, TUV and Green Party have given their reaction to the debate

"But if the chief constable says it's required that he needs the army then he must have the operational independence regardless of whether the parties agree and he must make that decision."

Jim Allister, TUV: "I think what would alarm law-abiding people tonight were the indications of the manner in which, because we devolved policing and justice to this terrorist inclusive executive, the manner in which Sinn Fein/IRA have a veto on issues like this and we saw from Mr Adams someone who was preening himself and boasting.

"Sinn Fein, courtesy of the DUP rolling over at Hillsborough, have a veto on that issue now when it comes to choosing how we police."

Stephen Agnew, Green Party: "I think what we saw tonight was people taking ideological positions and what we need to do is look at the evidence for and against it rather than sticking to traditional lines, we need to take a pragmatic approach to the issue."

THE NORTHERN IRELAND BUDGET

Naomi Long: "People are arguing about £200m and where they are going to find it but we're concerned about the persisting cost of division which costs us £1bn a year.

"It will be difficult but I think we need to address that - it's not easy but otherwise we are taking about cuts in front line services."

Jim Allister: "This has been a devolved issue for three years, many of these issues, so the people with responsibility are the four parties... they have failed us all.

"We have to rebuild this economy by encouraging and generating small business, that is the future to build.

"The more we grow the economy, the less cuts are required."

Stephen Agnew, Green Party: "The green economy is the only sector worldwide that is growing and some of the parties have endorsed Green Party policies which is nice to see.

"But it was our party that authored the green new deal and it's only us that can deliver on it.

"We invest about £2bn a year on energy which is produced overseas but if we create the new technologies to produce our energy here, it will provide jobs and keep the money in our economy."

MPS' EXPENSES

Naomi Long: "People are quite rightly concerned about some of the behaviour of their politicians.

"We are trying to rebuild that relationship with people - it is not just about following the rules, it's about showing you are above reproach, my rule of thumb is 'if you cannot defend it do not spend it'."

Jim Allister: "I was the first politician to put a list of my expenses (as an MEP) on my website because I have nothing to hide.

"This parliament has mired itself in scandal with walnut desks and mont blanc pens and so on and other questions that were not answered tonight."

Stephen Agnew, Green Party: "We are are the only political party who voluntarily chose not to take corporate donations as they have a corosive affect on politics."



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