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Funding must be on basis of objective need and not political bias - Bairbre de Brún

10 July, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today said that funding allocation in the Six Counties "must be on the sole basis of objective need."

Ms de Brún made her comments before the British Government was set to announce funding of £3.3 million aimed at 'building confidence' in working class Protestant areas of the north.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Sinn Féin is not opposed to sustainable development and funding for unionist areas in the Six Counties. However, this is the latest in a long line of crude attempts by the British Government to portray unionist areas as somehow more disadvantaged than nationalist ones. There is disadvantage in both unionist and nationalist working class districts.

"Only last week the British Government announced £100,000 in funding for the Orange Order - an inherently sectarian and discriminatory organisation which seeks to parade through areas where they seek to cause gross offence to local residents. The British Government sent out the message that not only does it endorse the activities of the Orange Order but that it wants to see these activities expanded and promoted.

"This latest tranche of funding is about favouring one section of the community over another. It is discriminatory and it is the wrong way to go about dealing with disadvantage. Sinn Féin has consistently argued that the allocation of funding, whether from the British Government or the EU must be on the basis of objective need alone, and not determined by political bias.

"Sinn Féin supports the distribution of funding in the Six Counties on the basis of equality whilst the British Government is prepared to feed and perpetuate the unionist myth that unionist communities are more deserving of support than others." ENDS

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