Economy minister Diane Dodds has been challenged by SDLP MLA Sinead McLaughlin on the performance of Invest NI, after it was revealed that her Foyle constituency had one of the lowest levels of jobs created through financial support from Invest NI.
The Derry MLA, who is the SDLP’s economy spokesperson, has tabled a question in the Assembly: “To ask the minister for the economy if she believes it is unfair, unreasonable and unacceptable that the Foyle constituency with the highest unemployment and economic inactivity in Northern Ireland also had one of the lowest levels of jobs created through direct financial assistance from Invest NI of any Northern Ireland constituency in 2016/17.”
Sinead McLaughlin said: “These latest published statistics lay bare the reality that Derry has not only been left behind the rest of Northern Ireland historically, but also that the situation is actually getting worse. I have asked economy minister Diane Dodds if she accepts this is ‘unfair, unreasonable and unacceptable’ – and I can tell her that it is.
“The people of Derry demand better than this. A mere 221 jobs were created in the Foyle constituency in 2016/17 with the assistance of Invest NI financial support. This contrasts to 1,408 in Belfast South, 550 in Upper Bann, 431 in Belfast East, 425 in Newry and Armagh and 382 in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Foyle is near the bottom of the list in terms of the new jobs created through Invest NI financial support, just as it as the top of the list in terms of unemployment and economic inactivity.
“The SDLP is demanding economic equality and regional economic balance. Invest NI must play the core part, alongside government, in delivering this.”
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com at any time.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from Derrynow.com
Buy the e-paper of the Derry News and the County Derry Post here for instant access to Derry's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Derry with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.