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Eagles accused of snubbing Economic Challenges sub-committee

16 August, 2006

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff has accused British direct rule Economy Minister Maria Eagles of snubbing the Preparation for Government Economic Challenges sub-committee after it was confirmed that she is unavailable to give evidence for the entire month of August.

Mr McElduff said:

"The economic challenges facing the economy are huge. This sub-committee has heard evidence from a wide range of organisations about the need for a comprehensive strategy that can deliver long-term prosperity.

"It is disappointing and frustrating that the British direct Rule Ministers responsible for the Economy, Maria Eagles, has not been available to give evidence to the committee. It has now been confirmed that she is unavailable for the entire month of August.

"This approach from someone who is responsible for a number of key departments here, including Education and the Economy, is very poor and only reinforces the perception that Direct rule is more remote, more inaccessible and less accountable.

"It is an approach that will only lead to bad government and bad decisions. People don't need to be fobbed off by unaccountable civil servants who at the end of the day will not take responsibility for decisions. What people demand is direct engagement with the many pressing issues of the day." ENDS

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