Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has welcomed the announcement that National Pen is expanding its operations in Dundalk over the next five years, creating up to 200 jobs.

Deputy Calleary commented: “Today’s announcement by National Pen is very important for Louth and Dundalk in particular, taking the workforce to almost 460 in 2017.  It’s clear that Ireland remains an attractive location for inward investment and for existing multi-nationals to expand their footprint in the country.  This is extremely positive and underlines the need for our corporation tax regime to be protected.

“Yesterday’s figures from the Central Statistics Office show the domestic economy remains in recession and needs support.  Domestic demand fell for the 3rd quarter in a row which shows consumer confidence, spending and domestic investment remain very vulnerable.

“Next month’s budget will be critical for the domestic economy.  We believe government policies are directly contributing to the crisis.  Cuts to capital investment, regressive tax increases such as the abolition of the PRSI allowance and cuts to child benefit and other social protection programmes are all hitting people’s spending power.  The ongoing mortgage crisis and the property tax are also huge drags on the economy as well.

“We need to see a budget next month that is fair, that put jobs and supporting businesses to fore, alongside investment in the economy and protects key social areas including education, mental health and disability.”