SDLP calls for more targeted economic support for South Down

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Saturday, June 29th, 2013
South Down MLA Sean Rogers has called for more targeted and coordinated economic support from Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Executive to support investment and job creation in Down District. Speaking at the Assembly debate this week on the lack of economic development in Down District, Rogers said it was good to get the economic development needs of South Down on the Assembly’s agenda. “Down District, and indeed the wider economy of South Down, relies heavily on the agriculture, fishing and construction sectors,” Rogers insisted. “Each one of those vital sectors has been hit hard by a combination of man-made and natural factors. “Total income from farming has dropped by 50% in real terms. Added to this we have had higher than average rainfall which has affected crop yields and heavy snowfall which has devastated many family farms in Down District. “The construction industry in South Down has not escaped the wider economic challenges facing construction workers right across the island. “The reality of all of this is a considerable reduction in the income of farmers, fishermen, construction workers and their families and this reduction is reflected in our towns and villages with empty retail premises and closing down sales.”
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