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Invest NI guilty of same negligence as IDB

28 May, 2010 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Fein MLA and chair of the Finance and Personnel committee at Stormont Jennifer McCann has stated that it is completely unacceptable that Invest NI has written off £15m of debt to companies that were granted public monies.

Stating that Invest NI have repeated the gross negligence of the IDB who have been in the dock on the very same issue Ms McCann has called on the Minister for Enterprise Trade & Investment to immediately answer why the same mistakes are continuing to be made in such bodies.

Speaking today Ms McCann said:

“Invest NI’s decision to write of £15m worth of debts is wholly unacceptable and questions need to be asked as to why, eight years after the wrapping up if the IDB,  Invest NI are guilty of the same negligence when it comes to public funding?

“The IDB lost millions of pounds worth of public finance with Valence Technology, Seagate, Visteon and many other enterprises.  It is now clearly apparent form today’s revelation that Invest NI are repeating the same mistakes, raising questions about the governance and outlook of the investment body.

"At a time when public spending is so tight and the Executive is having to cut a further £128m of public spending, these errors by a government agency are inexcusable.

“Locally based, small and medium sized businesses have had to close and jobs have been lost due to them being unable to access financial assistance and it's just not good enough for an agency like Invest NI, who have a huge annual budget from the public purse to run their enterprise, to take be able to take such a decision.

“I am calling on the Minister of Enterprise Trade & Investment who's department has responsibility for Invest NI to investigate this issue and set up an immediate review as to why the same grave errors are being made now as were being made 10 years ago.”

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