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Allister comments on latest research findings

09 November 2005

Jim Allister MEP has expressed alarm at the latest research findings that show more people are employed by community organisations within Northern Ireland compared to the number employed within the civil service.

“I was astounded at the figures released yesterday by the University of Ulster showing that more than 30,000 people work for community organisations in Northern Ireland and the neighbouring counties within the Republic of Ireland.  I wonder who all is funded within the community sector and what are these people doing to ensure there is a meaningful benefit to the communities in which they work."

Jim Allister believes that the large number of employees within the community sector will increase the competition on programmes with reduced budgets such as the Peace II extension.

“Over the last number of months I have successfully encouraged more groups from the Protestant community to apply to the Peace II extension programme.  These are groups that have previously not applied to the Peace Programme and they often come from areas with the greatest need within Northern Ireland.  It is vital that the implementing bodies for the Peace II programme ensure that money is delivered to worthwhile projects.  I have some concerns that the money will be delivered to organisations that have the greatest experience in filling in application forms.  I hope that sections of the Protestant community are not going to be underrepresented in the funding of the Peace programme due to the complexity of the form filling process.”

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