Ulster's needs `long-term'

Patricia Wynn Davies
Sunday 23 October 2011 08:52

Aid for Northern Ireland from the US and Europe is no substitute for a long-term strategy for economic regeneration, Labour warned yesterday, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

Marjorie Mowlam, shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, said the early evidence suggested that the Government was taking a "typically short-term view" by making public investment take the brunt of a £75m real-terms reduction in the province's budget over thenex.t three years.

Ms Mowlam told a Westminster news conference that EU and US funds "must not be squandered on administrative overheads or white-elephant projects, which ... do not deal with the structural problems which need addressing''.

A Labour document, Economic Regeneration and Restructuring: Fair and Full Employment in Northern Ireland, says the aid packages could be crucial pump-priming resources, but the Government had to develop a dual strategy for growth and jobs which were crucial to the peace process. Labour would monitor aid payments to ensure they were treated as additional to, and not a substitute for, public expenditure.

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