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Our most recent report explores the priorities for recovery as the Executive returns from recess. The paper outlines four key areas the Executive and the Assembly must address as a matter of urgency, even while the pandemic continues: improving how government works, economic recovery from Covid–19, priorities in health and social care and priorities in education.
Northern Ireland faced persistent economic, social and public service problems before Covid–19. These included health waiting times that are off the scale, low productivity, a predominance of low–paid and low–skill jobs, educational inequality and under–investment in infrastructure. The pandemic has only added to pre–existing challenges.
The Executive must now agree its priorities for recovery. It needs to bring the focus, ambition and unity that – for the most part – it brought to tackling Covid–19 to address Northern Ireland’s major concerns. There cannot be a return to the policies of the past or the previous ways in which government worked. Change is needed.