Stephen Farry MLA stated: “The underlying thrust of the report is about shifting public sector jobs from the Greater Belfast areas to other towns within Northern Ireland, such as Londonderry, Omagh, Craigavon, Newry, Ballymena and Coleraine. Furthermore, there is to be a presumption against locating new public sector jobs within the Greater Belfast area. This aspect of the report may be beneficial in addressing regional disparities.
“However, another aspect of the location of public sector jobs has been badly neglected. There is little consideration of the distribution of the jobs within the Greater Belfast area. While labour market mobility is important, there are also strong economic and environmental arguments for providing non-market sensitive public sector jobs in the areas where people live. Siting more jobs in places like Bangor, Lisburn, Carrickfergus, within the Greater Belfast area, and also looking at the issue of location within Belfast City itself, would help reduce the number of residents commuting and the strain on the local infrastructure.
“I will be seeking to combat this one-dimensional report within the Assembly.”