“Job reallocation should be distributed on greatest objective need” – Anderson
Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle, Martina Anderson has said she believes that a motion put forward in the Assembly today by the SDLP making reference to the findings of the Bain Report and the 'access problems of inadequate infrastructure and poor public transport identified in Enniskillen, Cookstown and Downpatrick' should be considered for further public sector jobs.
Ms Anderson said,
"Like the proposers of the motion Sinn Féin welcomes the recommendations of the Bain report and we hope that all Departments will show the same enthusiasm as the Minister for Agriculture, for example, in terms of implementing a policy of decentralisation.
"However, we should not be limiting this motion to the problems faced by the three towns mentioned. There are many areas of the North which continue to suffer because of ongoing patterns of inequality and disadvantage.
"This is a reality which was recognised by the Programme for Government which pledged all Departments and Government agencies to:
"Develop new and innovative measures that will address existing patterns of socio-economic disadvantage and target resources and efforts towards those in greatest objective need." "Given all of that, I am not sure of the wisdom of limiting the remit of this motion to just three towns, which is why I tabled an amendment calling for resources and efforts to be targeted at all those in greatest need.
"I was disappointed that the amendment was not selected by the speaker as such an approach would benefit not just Enniskillen, Cookstown and Downpatrick - but all those areas where objective need can be demonstrated.
"Nevertheless, the substance of the motion recognises the reality of the regional disparities which exist in the North.
"And as I pointed out in this Chamber last week, it is Sinn Féin's firm view that the reasons behind these inequalities are structural and systemic.
"We must get it right for all of the people - not just a few." CRÍOCH