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Sinn Féin challenge DUP on employment figures

9 November, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Equality issues Caitriona Ruane has today challenged the DUP to comment on the very latest employment figures which show clearly that members of the catholic community are twice as likely to be unemployed than their protestant counterparts.

Ms Ruane said:

" The DUP and their allies within unionist sections of the media today have made much fuss about a figure claiming that protestants are under represented within a section of low paid workers in the Royal. This ignores a number of facts. Firstly it ignores the total employment breakdown across the 6,500 staff in the Royal and particularly amongst the higher wage brackets.

" Crucially the DUP also ignore the overall employment deferential across the six counties. In the latest figures published last month by the National Statistics Office (and ignored by much of the media) both Catholic men and women are twice as likely to be unemployed than their Protestant counterparts. In addition to this the figures showing indications of poverty and ill-health show the structural problems which exist in the main within the Catholic community.

" There is of course unemployment within the protestant community but the truth is that the differences in the unemployment differential stems from structural patterns of discrimination. This is the reality.

" Are the DUP now going to call for an inquiry into this indisputable fact? Are the DUP now going to call for pro-active programmes to tackle the employment differential that clearly exists. The DUP cannot simply seek action against low paid health workers in the Royal. They must address the employment differential figures across the six counties." ENDS

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