Fall in number of those on unemployment related benefits just a mere drop in the ocean- Anderson
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson commenting on the news from the Department of Trade and Investment that figures for April 2010 show the first decrease for 27 months in the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits said:
“Whilst I welcome the news that there has been a decrease of 200 in the number of people receiving unemployment related benefits, this is just a mere drop in the ocean in the numbers needed to get the jobs market moving. It would be interesting to know what the emigration figures are to determine if there has actually been a reduction at all or do these figures just camoflage the real employment situation. What I want to see is tangible evidence of job creation and retention, not unemployment figures that can be easily massaged in order to make a good soundbite for a Minister. There are several proactive measures I feel need to be acted upon to make this a reality in places like Derry
"Firstly there needs to be decentralisation of public sector jobs to the North West and protection of existing public sector jobs in the region. I have lobbied persistently for some time now for social objectives to be incorporated in all public spending programmes to ensure that they deliver jobs for the people of Derry.
"We have already seen this happen on a number of projects currently underway in Derry. The numbers employed may be small but at least it’s a start and something people told us couldn’t be done.
Ms. Anderson concluded
"The fact is that the North West is a region which already suffers from significant social deprivation. While the present economic crisis presents its own challenges many of our difficulties are a legacy of the historical neglect and regional disparity created by government underinvestment for decades. Therefore, with the recession, we are now facing a double whammy and I will be urging all Ministers to take tangible measures which will assist in the economic recovery of the North West."