Wage disparity must be addressed - McAleer

Caoimhe Archibald, with Councillor Dermot Nicholl, Declan McAleer MLA and Cathal Hassan MLA at the DARD fundingadvice meeting held in the Drummond hotel this week. INLV4215-018KDRCaoimhe Archibald, with Councillor Dermot Nicholl, Declan McAleer MLA and Cathal Hassan MLA at the DARD fundingadvice meeting held in the Drummond hotel this week. INLV4215-018KDR
Caoimhe Archibald, with Councillor Dermot Nicholl, Declan McAleer MLA and Cathal Hassan MLA at the DARD fundingadvice meeting held in the Drummond hotel this week. INLV4215-018KDR | Ken Reay.Images can not used without expressed on each occasion
Rural communities face great disadvantage as a result of high wage disparity between rural and urban communities, Sinn Féin MLA Declan Mc Aleer has said.

The West Tyrone MLA quizzed the Economy Minister on what measures are in place to address the pay gap after a DAERA report revealed that salaries in rural areas are 9% lower.

Declan McAleer said:

“The 9% pay parity between rural and urban areas is deeply concerning and must be addressed.

“The figure doesn’t take into account that living costs are higher in rural areas, there is less access to public services and broadband speeds are much slower.

“There is an onus on the Department for the Economy to take the lead in improving economic conditions for people and this must include those living in rural areas.

“I will play my part in the development of an economic strategy that will have a positive impact on people - including the development of skills, providing support for new and existing businesses and better transport links.

“I will also work closely with other departments, businesses, local government and the wider public to develop a collective approach to tackle wage disparity, unemployment and other economic inequalities.”

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