Dear Madam, - It is now over seven years since the commencement of the global recession with the UK economy being particularly hard hit with the loss of many jobs. In Fermanagh job losses were many but to some degree were disguised by the masses of our young people who left the county in search of jobs in distant lands.
The movement of our youth to universities and those leaving to Australia and other far off lands has resulted in a lost generation. Yet; none of our political parties appear to have taken any steps nor made any suggestions as to how to stem the flow.
The average wage in Fermanagh still remains below the UK average which further discourages our young people to remain in the county. Job creation; sponsored by InvestNI remains low with investment from foreign investment at zero.
Fermanagh and South Tyrone has six MLAs in the constituency that have cost the tax payers approximately £2.8m wages alone since the recession hit(the past 17 years; a total of £6.1m wages). What sort of a return have we as constituents of Fermanagh received in terms of foreign or local investment, job creation or delivery of a future for our young people? Surely over such a duration Fermanagh could expect some benefits that impact upon the average man/woman on the streets? I personally am at a loss to highlight anything that springs to light.
It is time our MLAs highlight the steps they have taken since the economic crash as to what they have done on a personal basis to acquire funding for our county and to indicate what jobs they have personally secured to Fermanagh.
Furthermore: our political parties should be making representation to universities in Northern Ireland encouraging them to admit local students rather than the continued influx of international students. This, along with our MLA’s supporting local schools in promoting universities in Northern Ireland rather than across the water, can only but help keep our young folk with a chance of them returning to the county.
There needs action to be undertaken to stop the brain-drain from the county of those with educational and vocational ability. Fermanagh and indeed Northern Ireland need the youth of today to be our leaders of tomorrow.
Yours faithfully, Alex Elliott TUV Fermanagh