Northern Ireland

Economic inactivity strategy hindered by budget pressures

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Image caption Economic inactivity refers to people of working age who are not seeking work

A strategy to tackle Northern Ireland's high rates of economic inactivity has been "severely hindered" by budget pressures.

Economic inactivity refers to people who are neither in work or looking for a job.

In Northern Ireland, almost 28% of working age adults are inactive, compared to a UK rate of 22%.

By 2030, the strategy hopes to have raised employment levels to above the UK average.

A plan to tackle the problem was published in April but the employment minister said it "remains largely unresourced".

Stephen Farry added that some preliminary work had taken place including a pilot scheme involving ESA claimants.

However, he added that other projects have "yet to commence, due to the lack of financial and other resource allocations".

Mr Farry said that should additional funding be received a new implementation plan and timetable will need to be agreed between executive departments.

The strategy involves 11 projects, based on the voluntary participation of individuals.

Three groups will be targeted - those with work-limiting health conditions or disabilities, lone parents and people with caring commitments.

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