The investment that the Minister mentions, as well as the work that is under way, is a very significant development — particularly for the jobs and the economy of the border area. Furthermore, it represents a big step forward for all-Ireland co-operation. Does the Minister plan to build on the extension of the North/South waterways?
A paper was tabled at the Executive meeting of 7 June on the subject of restoration of the south-western section — namely, Upper Lough Erne to Clones — of the Ulster Canal, and possible funding sources. We are very well aware of the significance attached to this cross-border project, and we are currently considering the available options.
Differences in pay between some staff members in the North and their counterparts in the South have arisen for several reasons. The chief executives of the North/South bodies have raised concerns about the pay and conditions of service of their staff. These are complex issues, and the North/South Ministerial Council joint secretariat, in consultation with its sponsor and finance departments in both the Northern Ireland jurisdiction and in the Republic of Ireland, is considering them with a view to agreeing a possible response.