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Ritchie ‘ducking’ the issue on job losses

14 April, 2008

Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan has accused the Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie of trying to 'wash her hands' of job losses within the Housing Executive.

In response to a question from Cathal Boylan in which he asked if there were to be job losses in the Armagh city NIHE District office, DSD Minister Ritchie replied, 'This is an operational matter for the Housing Executive….. all government departments are required to make efficiency savings….the Armagh City office and all District Offices will have to contribute to these efficiencies.'

Responding Mr Boylan said:

"This reply from Margaret Ritchie a classic example of passing the buck.

"It seems the Minister will take all the praise for any long awaited, and as yet, invisible, social housing to be built and allocated by the Housing Executive, but when it comes to unpalatable decisions then it has nothing to do with her.

"The Housing Executive is part of her Department, its decisions fall within her remit, the efficiency savings she speaks of are obviously being driven forward on her command, therefore any job losses which occur are ultimately her responsibility. The loss of frontline services to the public is also down to her and her Department." ENDS

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