Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Fifth Special Report

Appendix II

Letter from the Director of the Northern Ireland Economic Council
to the Clerk of the Committee

The Council is pleased to respond to the above report, which it considered at its 10 September 1999 meeting. This was the Council's first opportunity to discuss the report since it was released on 29 July.

As you know the report contains a number of references to the Council. These include a suggestion that the Council should undertake a study of the costs and benefits of fair employment legislation. Such a study would be a major undertaking.

After careful consideration, the Council took the view that it would be more appropriate for the Equality Commission to undertake such a project. Such a study would be consistent with the suggestions contained in the March 1999 Report of the Equality Commission Working Group. The Group saw research playing a major role in the Commission's activities. The Council would, of course, be prepared to assist the Commission in an advisory capacity while a study is being conducted.

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