Job Creation agencies failing border areas - Flanagan
Sinn Féin, Enterprise Spokesperson, Phil Flanagan MLA, (Fermanagh/South Tyrone) has said that job creation agencies – Invest NI and the IDA – are failing border areas.
Phil Flanagan said:
“Even a cursory examination of job creation figures exposes the failure of Invest NI and the IDA to bring jobs to border areas. Of almost 17,000 jobs created by the two Investment bodies on the island last year less than 10% came to areas of high unemployment on either side of the border.
“The vast majority of investment and therefore jobs attracted by both agencies are focussed in and around the two main cities of Dublin and Belfast. Photo opportunities by Ministers announcing jobs in Belfast or Dublin may be good for the optics to give the impression that things are looking up. But if we are to come up with a realistic and sustainable job creation strategy we need to take account of the historic high levels of unemployment in the North West and border region. As part of that strategy I believe that we need to eliminate competition for jobs and investment between Invest NI and the IDA and form one job creation agency for the island.
“We then need to formulate a proper location neutral strategy in our approach to Foreign Direct Investment where incentives to investors are the same in Derry, Donegal, Fermanagh or Cavan as they are to locate in Belfast or Dublin.
“I would urge the respective Ministers in Belfast and Dublin to enter into discussion to come up with an island-wide job creation strategy that will assist in reinvigorating the economy and gets Ireland working again.”