Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Let's call this right, what else could Invest NI do?

Human nature lends itself to always pushing the boundaries. Give us an inch and we'll try and take a mile. Give us a £185m to spend in a year and we'll spend £200m.

Well actually we might but Invest NI won't.

It has come in for a lot of stick for underspending its budget and handing another substantial tranche of money back to Stormont.

What a shocker it isn't.

A business development agency not being able to find firms wanting to invest during one of the harshest downturns in living memory really shouldn't be the slap in the face some suggest it is.

Invest NI operates under what's known as matched funding - where it matches investment made by a 'client' company to a greater or lesser degree - and if you actually speak to any CEO, business owner or take heed of business surveys, you'll see that investment by firms has fallen off a cliff.

So there. We don't often defend public organisations in the column, but fair's fair.

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