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Wilson absence suggests Youth Services only a ‘political football’

5 February, 2008

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff has said that the failure of DUP MLA Sammy Wilson to move a motion on Youth Services in the Assembly today would suggest that he views the provision Youth Services as a political football in his campaign against Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane.

Mr McElduff said:

"I think that many people were concerned at the cuts to the Youth Service in Peter Robinson's draft Budget and the impact that this would have in some of our most deprived communities.

"The Education Department carried out an Equality Impact Assessment on the draft Budget, Programme for Government and Investment Strategy. The results allowed Caitríona Ruane to secure a substantial increase in funding for Youth Services.

"It is difficult to know whether Sammy Wilson's failure to turn up for the debate in the Assembly is because he would have had to congratulate the Sinn Fein Minister for securing more money for Youth Services in the final budget or because for Sammy Youth Services are only of interest as a political football." ENDS

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