NI election issues guide: Stormont

Devolution was restored to Stormont in May 2007. Under the system of government designed under the Good Friday and St Andrews agreements, there are limits on how the parties can approach issues. There is no government to be thrown out or opposition to be installed.

Other issues include the Review of Public Administration, set up by the Northern Ireland Executive in 2002 to help modernise and reform the public sector; ministers did not reach agreement on reducing from 26 to 11 the number of councils by May 2011.

Ministers have so far resisted Westminster government calls for the introduction of water charging.

Election issues 2011



Sinn Fein






  • Work with other parties to create a settled society, realising savings through sharing and breaking down division
  • Reduce the number of MLAs and government departments
  • Block additional water charges and limit any rates increase to inflation
  • Legislate for tougher sentences and make prison terms the norm for attacks on the elderly or vulnerable
  • Work to bring unionists together to maximise unionism's strength
  • Oppose water charges
  • Implement the Review of Public Administration in the next term of Stormont
  • Seek agreement on a programme for government before running the D'Hondt system for executive places
  • Reform political structures including a significant reduction in the number of MLAs, executive departments, local councils and unelected bodies; review North/South bodies
  • Call for honest debate on water charges; pressure on public resources needs relieved, but NI people already largely pay for water through their rates
  • Continue to fight for the needs of victims, including seeking to change the current flawed definition
  • Redistribute resources within the Department of Regional Development
  • Make the devolved institutions deliver more
  • Reject separate water charges; Northern Ireland Water should be owned by its customers to avoid separate charges
  • Reduce the number of politicians, cut government departments and shrink bureaucracy
  • Decentralise 2,000 public sector posts over the next three years to spread government jobs more equally
  • End communal designations and introduce equal votes
  • Introduce a voluntary coalition to provide for more cohesive and effective government
  • Promote greater collaboration between departments on cross-cutting issues such as training, economy and the environment
  • Reduce the number of departments and assembly members
  • Deliver the Review of Public Administration for local government
  • Create a strong, cross-cutting policy for a shared future
  • Keep local government close to the people; retain Northern Ireland's 26 councils
  • Ask councils to make efficiency savings of between 3-5% by extending shared services
  • Insist on a voluntary coalition containing a coherent executive with a shared agenda and a vigorous opposition to hold it to account
  • Save £100m per annum by abolishing North/South bodies
  • Make savings by cutting the size of the assembly and executive in line with Northern Ireland's population
  • Support terror victims; seek more police to fight terrorism and criminality
  • Privatise Northern Ireland Water; no double-charging and a "golden share" retained by the assembly
  • Support traditional family values and protect the rights of Christians

More N. Ireland Politics stories


Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.