Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson on Employment and Small Business has called on the Government to redouble its efforts to address the high levels of unemployment in neglected regions including the North West of the country.

Deputy Scanlon commented, “While the creation of any new jobs is welcome, it is important that the recovery is spread right across the country, and unfortunately that simply is not the case. The overall rate of unemployment may be falling but there is still a significant body of work to do to help support rural and regional Ireland.

“PQ information has revealed the uneven nature of the recovery throughout the regions. Therefore, more measurable actions are required to address the imbalance in unemployment by region and create a greater stimulus towards rural job creation. We need to shift away from the continued focus on high end, high skilled positions and support sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

“Fianna Fáil proposes a far more structured approach by revamping the Local Enterprise Offices to support rural business and enhance LEADER funding.

“Our party believe that job creation is vital to the long term future of rural Ireland. More needs to happen to support self-employed people in creating employment in local communities around the country. We must strengthen the infrastructure for businesses to operate in more rural regions of Ireland. These deficits must be effectively tackled if we want to spread what has been an unbalanced and two tier recovery to date.

“Budget 2017 presents this Government with an opportunity to address the high levels of rural unemployment, target infrastructural investment and promote investment outside of the main hubs. The fruits of the recovery must be felt throughout the country and not just part of it,” added Deputy Scanlon.