Sinn Fein: Job figures welcome but regional disparities remain – McCartney

Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney.
Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney commenting on the latest Labour Force figures has said that while the reduction in unemployment figures and increase in jobs are to be welcomed, regional disparities remain.

Mr McCartney said: “While the latest Labour Force Figures are to be welcomed it has to be recognised that unemployment levels, particularly West of the Bann are unacceptably high.

“The regular job creation announcements, mainly in Belfast but invariably East of the Bann are evidence that the inward investment strategy is working for that region.

“But Derry and Strabane continue to top the unemployment tables. The Minister and Invest NI continue to claim that they cannot dictate to investors where they should locate, but this is not good enough.

“Inward investment is attracted by the facilities, infrastructure and incentives offered. It should not be beyond the capabilities of those tasked with attracting jobs and investment to devise a strategy and create a package that would incentivise investors to locate in areas of high unemployment and underinvestment.

“Success comes in cans not can nots! It’s time we seen a can do attitude in Invest NI when it comes to selling the benefits of locating in areas such as Derry and Strabane instead of taking the easy option of ‘we can’t tell investors where to locate’.”