No Justification for £92 million spend on G8 - Flanagan
Published: 27 January, 2015
Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said that their is absolutely no justification for the £92 million spent on the G8 summit.
The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA was speaking after an evaluation report was presented to the ene Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee 7 months after it was supposed to be.
Mr Flanagan said:
"This report goes to great lengths to highlight the supposed benefits of Fermanagh hosting the G8. With £92 million being spent organising it, with a quarter of that coming from the Executive's budget and being redirected out of the health and education budgets, one would have expected much more by the way of benefits for the local community.
"Surveys with businesses who say it positively promotes the place is all well and good, but that does not necessarily lead to any increase in visitor numbers of economic output. Were those surveyed asked was it worth £92 million to organise?
"No effort was made to find out what the people living in Fermanagh think, those of us who were seriously inconvenienced by this over elaborate event and we all know why.
"It is a disgrace that such an obscene sum of money was spent hosting this get together for a bunch of millionaires and all at the taxpayers expense.
"The G8 brought no benefit to this county at all. The people who live here were seriously put out by it and have received little in the way of a payback. There have been no jobs created or significant infrastructural improvements as a result of it, despite all the promises made to us at the time.
"The only legacy from the G8 are the fake shop fronts used to cover up decades of economic neglect of this county. Amazingly those shops are still lying empty and nothing is being done to address that.
"Surely this £92 million would have been better spent creating jobs in Fermanagh instead of massaging the ego of David Cameron and his ilk who are determined to force austerity onto the working people and continue to live a lavish lifestyle at their expense."