£700 million G8 figure ‘plucked from thin air’ – Flanagan
Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has dismissed claims by an official from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office that the G8 summit taking place in Fermanagh will bring in up to £700 million into the local economy.
The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA said:
“Since the announcement was made that the G8 summit was taking place in Fermanagh we have been forced to listen to one ridiculous claim after another.
“At a public meeting discussing disruption as a result of the G8, an official from the British Foreign & Commonwealth claimed that the summit would bring in up to £700 million into the local economy.
“This is a figure that has been plucked from thin air, for no other reason but to deal with the growing resentment at the level of disruption in Fermanagh as a result of the G8.
“Already we have been told that schools are closing with exams disrupted, hospital appointments cancelled, waterways are closing, driving lessons and tests cancelled, mobile phone coverage impacted and all road works have been cancelled.
“This is not a proportionate response to dealing with a gathering of eight men and women who are simply coming to Fermanagh to perpetuate the myth that they speak for the whole world.
“Tangible economic benefits will be minor and very short lived. At this morning’s meeting of the Enterprise, Trade & Investment committee, we received information on the economic ‘benefits’ of the 2010 G8 summit in Scotland. This summit cost £90.9m to host, two thirds of which was paid by the Scottish government, not the British government, and the actual benefit to the Scottish economy was a meagre £4.6 million.
“I have now asked for a similar piece of work to be done based on sensible predictions for the forthcoming G8 summit in Fermanagh.”