NI Economy in Crisis
Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“The only thing more alarming than today’s data from the Indexes of Services and Production is the response of the Enterprise Minister.
“Unemployment has risen to 70,000 with 8.1% of the population now out of work.
“In the last 12 months the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Northern Ireland has risen by 4.8% while during the same period the figure fell by 1.4% across the UK as a whole.
“A staggering 21.1% of people aged 18 to 24 are unemployed, up 3% in the last 12 months.
“Yet the Enterprise Minister claims that despite the poor performance, the Northern Ireland production sector is performing better than the UK!
“How exactly does Minister Foster think this statement stands up? I can believe that we are probably leading the way in terms of press photographer profits but that is a 'particularly small niche!
“The arrogant complacency is jaw-dropping. How can we begin to fix the economy if there is not even an acknowledgement that there is a problem?
“It’s time to stop the spin and face up to reality.”