Ulster Unionist MLA Sandra Overend has commented on the Audit Office Report into Invest Northern Ireland which indicated that Invest NI has made steady progress over the past nine years.
The Mid-Ulster MLA, who is also the Party’s economic spokesperson, said:
“This report is to be welcomed by all those who wish to see Northern Ireland prosper. In the current difficult economic climate it is indeed good news that Invest Northern Ireland have created a significant amount of jobs in the period between 2008 and 2011. Having said that, I still have a number of concerns.
I note that 75% of the jobs promoted by Invest NI equated to real; jobs on the ground and would be concerned if this is replicated with regard to the Programme for Government target to support the promotion of 25,000 jobs, it will leave a great number of people still unemployed.
I also note that the data relates to 2008-11 and I must say that it will be very interesting to learn what the performance has been like since then, given that Invest NI have handed back just under £40 million in the last year during monitoring rounds.
Given the current economic circumstances in which we find ourselves, Northern Ireland plc needs to have Invest NI at the top of its game attracting and promoting investment here to reduce unemployment and grow our economy.”