The trade union movement must develop a long-term industrial and enterprise strategy that prioritises prosperity, equality, better public services and improved living standards, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, told the ICTU Biennial Delegate Conference taking place in Kilkenny today (Tuesday, 4th July). Proposing a motion on a ‘new economic model for Ireland’, King said that a lack of in-depth government analysis of how our economy should develop had left “a gaping hole where a long-term industrial and enterprise strategy should be”. This failure, he argued, has left the Irish economy unprepared to face the challenges of climate change, digitalisation (including AI and automation) and the danger of a long-term, low-growth future.   He added: “We need to develop a long-term economic and business model that in the first instance addresses the deficits in our productive economy – a model that can drive not only workplace prosperity but equality, public services and living standards.” King said: “We need to return to the fundamental issues of what we produce, how we produce it and who benefits from that production. We need a new economic and business model that can address these deficits, confront the central challenges that we face, and put the Irish economy on the high road of inclusive and sustainable growth.” In order to develop such a long-term, far-reaching approach delegates endorsed the motion proposed by the SIPTU Deputy General Secretary. The motion calls for debate throughout the trade union movement to help “develop a comprehensive long-term model of economic development for both economies on the island of Ireland”, which will be unveiled at an ICTU conference in two years’ time.