THE SDLP’s Sinéad McLaughlin has launched a scathing criticism of Invest NI for the regional imbalance of both its spending and business support, which favour Belfast and Antrim at the expense of the West.
Said the Foyle MLA: “Derry and Strabane have the highest unemployment rate in the North of Ireland, yet Invest NI spending is skewed towards Belfast and Antrim.
“The figures that have been disclosed to me by the economy minister are shocking beyond belief.
“It is essential that the Department for the Economy changes the remit of Invest NI to focus investment and spending on the areas with the highest unemployment and need, creating the most jobs where they are needed the most.
“Invest NI should operate in a similar way to the South’s IDA, which has regional development and regional recovery from Covid as a central part of its strategy.
“The economic neglect of Derry must end: 14 years of government joint leadership by the DUP and Sinn Féin has not delivered for Derry.”
Examples of the imbalanced spending include:
Revenue expenditure of £19.64m in Derry City and Strabane in the last five years, compared to £34.7m in Antrim and Newtownabbey; and £110.77m in Belfast.
Capital expenditure of £2.94m in Derry City and Strabane in the last five years, compared to £5.37m in Antrim and Newtownabbey; £10.02 in Mid-Ulster; and £15.01m in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.
Grants of £50.52m in Derry City and Strabane in the last five years, compared to £212.24m in Belfast.
Loans of £0.2m in the Foyle constituency in the last five years, compared to £10.67m in the Antrim constituency.Tags: