HC Deb 11 February 1998 vol 306 c263W
15. Mr. Browne

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what initiatives she has undertaken in the course of her review of the economic strategy for Northern Ireland. [26879]

Mr. Ingram

We are working hard to improve the competitiveness of the Northern Ireland economy and tackle its underlying problems, particularly long-term unemployment. The New Deal, to which we are committing £140 million in Northern Ireland over the life of this Parliament, will greatly increase the opportunities for the long-term unemployed.

I have set in train two important reviews. The first is looking at the Department of Economic Development's structures for delivering industrial support services and will be completed next month. The second is a fundamental re-examination, in partnership with the private sector, of the economic development strategy needed to take Northern Ireland into the new millennium. It will be completed by the autumn of next year.