Figures show less than half jobs supported by Invest NI pay average Northern Ireland wage
Falling global trade and investment trends show impossibility of growth strategy predicated on corporate tax cuts
November 1st: Jimmy Kelly, Ireland Secretary for Unite challenged Invest NI over statistics showing more than half the jobs to which they provided grant-aid paid less than the Northern Ireland average:
“These figures show Invest NI is grant-aiding poverty pay jobs. What’s more, those employers will then receive additional, indirect state-aid through tax credits paid to enable their employees to live on such wages. It is an indictment of the lead economic development agency that less than half of all jobs they ‘promote’ pay the average NI wage or above, and that regional average is among the lowest in the UK already.
“This failure is particularly marked in more rural and peripheral areas. In Fermanagh-South Tyrone, less than ten percent of all grant-aided jobs pay the NI average. Invest NI attempts to justify this by saying they need to provide ‘jobs at all levels’ are deeply insulting. Are they suggesting that 90% of workers in that council area shouldn’t aspire to more than poverty pay work?
“Unite has been arguing for some time that Invest NI is failing our Manufacturing sector, that it is failing the regional economy. They are seeking to grow the economy through a race to the bottom, to grant-aid poverty pay jobs for any duration”, Mr Kelly continued.
Taking aim at the central plank of the NI Executive’s approach to the economy, Mr Kelly said:
“The Executive proposes to cut corporation taxes in the hope of replicating the growth experienced by the Republic of Ireland two decades ago. Unfortunately this strategy is predicated on continued expansion of global trade and investment but the reality is the trend line of global trade is falling further behind that of global economic growth.
“Instead of throwing money at corporate tax cuts we should be going all-in to invest in education, skills, infrastructure and innovation and grow our supply chains. We need an ambitious approach to transition to a higher value-added and sustainable economy rooted in our fundamental strengths”, Mr Kelly concluded.