Alliance accuses Government of “soft touch” on language training for immigrants

Alliance Party Spokesperson Jayne Dunlop has said the Government cannot cut back on essential services for immigrants, most obviously English language training.

As concerns about the budget available for training teachers grow, the party’s Ballymena representative stated: “It is essential that immigrants coming here to contribute to our society and our economy are given every chance to integrate.

“Integration is very difficult for immigrants who have to select which side of the sectarian divide to come down on when it comes to worship, education and housing.

“It becomes impossible when we fail to provide basic services, such as language training. Cutbacks to funding in this area mean that English language courses are becoming too expensive for most immigrants.

“The result will be that many immigrants do not have the opportunity to learn the language properly, and to integrate into the community. That is to the detriment of everyone.

“Once again, the Government is choosing a ‘soft touch’ for cutbacks. Instead, it should focus on the £1 billion needlessly thrown away on segregated public services, and use the savings to ensure that services to all sections of society, including immigrants, are of the highest possible quality.”


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