Outrage as Fermanagh is worst in North for low pay

INVEST NI has been accused of “window-dressing” as latest figures show that average pay in Fermanagh is the lowest in the North.

A Labour Market Research survey published its findings that puts the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area in last place for wages with average pay here being at £1,958.

The Derry City & Strabane Council area usually has the ignominious title of the North’s lowest average wage but Fermanagh has now replaced them at the bottom of the pile.


Invest NI state that they are looking to boost Fermanagh’s economy with the “Ambition To Grow” programme but local UNITE trade union official and former Councillor, Donal O’Cofaigh says that action speaks louder than words.

He said: “What we need to see is urgent action from the Council and from Invest NI – and hopefully from Stormont when it gets back up and running to direct investment into Fermanagh.

“We need more jobs to sustain young people into the future. They need to see that they don’t have to emigrate and they don’t have to make that choice to get a decent wage.

“With Invest NI, it seems that we’re yet again going to a bit more window dressing from them. But it always becomes apparent on how little they’ve done in this area.

“They say they’re going to do something but that usually turns out to be little or nothing.

“There are claims made that Invest NI cannot bring investment to places like Fermanagh. But if you look just across the border at Leitrim, Cavan and Donegal, you see that large scale investment has taken place there.

“You also see de-centralisation of high-paid government jobs as well. We are not seeing that. Invest NI is a failed agency as far as I’m concerned.”


Invest NI responded by insisting that they are committed to boosting Fermanagh’s local economy.

A spokeswoman said: “Our interim CEO, Mel Chittock, and members of our Executive Leadership Team has met with senior officials from Fermanagh & Omagh District Council to discuss the specific challenges faced by the area.

“We are committed to having a stronger presence and greater visibility in the region to encourage more businesses to apply for support, and to strengthening our partnership working with the Council to generate new business, grow existing businesses and drive economic development in the area.

“We currently have a programme – ‘Ambition to Grow’ – open to applications and would encourage businesses from the Fermanagh & Omagh region to apply.

“We have also committed to working together with Fermanagh and Omagh Council to develop local solutions to support local companies to start up and grow and to attract new businesses to the area.”

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