Northern Ireland Election 2016

NI Assembly election: PUP pledges to bring necessary change

Image caption The PUP launched its assembly election manifesto in east Belfast on Friday

The Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) has launched its manifesto ahead of next week's assembly election.

Party Leader Billy Hutchinson unveiled the 12-page document in east Belfast.

The PUP, which had no MLAs in the last assembly, are running in six constituencies under the slogan "the change we need and the voice you want".

The party has drawn up a contract with the electorate which highlights health, education, the economy, employment, housing and regeneration.

On health the party wants to work to a "zero suicide goal, through prompt crisis intervention and coordinated action from the health and justice systems".

On education the PUP wants to "end the cycle of educational underachievement and disadvantage in working class communities".

In the area of employment it wants to support the six regional colleges in developing them as centres of excellence.

The PUP also wants a national policy and action plan to tackle fuel poverty.

On assisting local businesses the party wants to reduce out of town shopping with a "renewed emphasis on town-led regeneration".

Image caption Billy Hutchinson said his party would work hard to particularly help those from deprived communities

Party leader Billy Hutchinson said people were fed up with what they are being offered by the other parties.

"Politics has got a bad name. What we are trying to do is to say to people we are not of the same ilk," he said.

"Some of us want to get on with actually doing what is right for society," he said.

He added that his party would work hard to particularly help those from deprived communities.