Flanagan criticises 'paltry' British government Broadband fund
Sinn Féin DETI Committee Member, Phil Flanagan MLA (Fermanagh/South Tyrone) has criticised funding by the British government of £4.4 million to tackle the lack of broadband provision in rural areas as 'paltry' and insulting.
Mr Flanaghan said:
“The fact that the Executive has only been given a paltry £4.4 million out of a total British government fund of £530 million can only be viewed as another example of the derisory attitude with which the British government views the needs of people here in the North of Ireland.
"While the Executive and Agricultural Minister, Michelle O'Neill MLA in particular, are attempting to address the lack of broadband availability in rural areas as best they can, it is obvious that while the British Exchequer imposes massive budget cuts on the Executive that when it comes to allocating funds for special projects the North is at the bottom of the heap.
“How the British Chancellor can justify this paltry 0.8% of the total allocation to the North, when we reflect almost 3% of the total population affected by this decision is beyond comprehension.“On a recent visit to Enniskillen, British Secretary of State, Owen Patterson said he was unaware that there were any problems with telecommunications coverage in Fermanagh, which just goes to show how out of touch, he and his Tory cronies are with reality here.