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Report vindicates Sinn Féin’s vigorous pursuit of Equality Agenda in Executive

10 February, 2009

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP MLA Pat Doherty says that the report from PricewaterhouseCoopers which highlights the continuing economic disparities between east and west of the Bann (in its case study of the new council areas of Derry City and Strabane and Omagh and Fermanagh), requires an affirmative action plan from all Assembly Departments to ensure the implementation of the Executive's Programme for Government and Investment Strategy, which was underpinned by a commitment to tackle regional disparities.

Saying that the Report further vindicates Sinn Fein's vigorous pursuit of the Equality Agenda within the Assembly Executive Pat Doherty said,

"The report highlights the reality that the two new proposed councils of Derry City & Strabane and Fermanagh and Omagh will continue to suffer economically and socially unless there is a radical rethink and affirmative action.

"The PricewaterhouseCoopers report reinforces Sinn Féin's long standing argument that an affirmative action plan needs to be implemented to tackle the historical legacy of neglect in council areas west of the Bann.

"Sinn Féin put this priority at the centre of the Executive's Programme for Government and Investment Strategy and while some major infrastructural projects such as the A5 dual carriageway and the expansion of the Ulster University Magee Campus in Derry are now in the pipeline, there needs to be affirmative action from all Assembly Departments to honour the commitments in the Programme for Government.

"As the Report highlights, the legacy of failed economic policy and under investment west of the Bann needs to be fundamentally addressed to stop the gap between east and west of the Bann increasing further and Sinn Féin will continue to pursue this equality agenda vigorously within the Executive." ENDS

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