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MLA urges post-coronavirus investment plan as Mid Ulster faces 45% slump in output


Patsy McGlone

Patsy McGlone

Patsy McGlone

Mid Ulster will need major economic investment to recover from the coronavirus pandemic after a study claimed it will suffer a 45% slump in output.

Analysis by think-tank Centre for Progressive Policy said Mid Ulster would suffer the worst crash in output in Northern Ireland.

The CPP analysed the impact on district council areas of three months of lockdown followed by three months of gradual lifting of restrictions.

Mid Ulster came off worst, with a 45% fall in output predicted, followed by Mid and East Antrim, predicted to lose 40%.

SDLP Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone said the impact on the area needed to be offset by a plan for investment after the pandemic.

"Our communities have benefited from a strong manufacturing base, a construction industry hub and a flourishing hospitality sector over many years. It's becoming clear that these industries will bear the brunt of the economic impact of Covid-19.

"The analysis projects that we could experience a 45% reduction in economic output. This scenario would represent an immense challenge for local companies and local jobs.

"It is essential that a post-pandemic investment strategy focussing on new public works projects and support for key sectors is put in place to aide our recovery and reconstruction efforts."

He also said a plan is required for emerging from lockdown which will include mass testing and tracing. "We need to know when it will be safe to begin the next phase of fighting this virus and preparing for economic recovery. The SDLP has consistently raised this and we'll continue to do so."

Belfast Telegraph