Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary says the Government’s new policy on attracting Foreign Direct Investment lacks ambition and outlines no clear plan as to how it intends to entice new companies to the regions.
Deputy Calleary commented, “The plan unveiled by Minister Richard Bruton is extremely disappointing. It’s completely lacking in ambition, setting targets which have already been met over the past few years. It aims to create over 7,000 additional jobs a year between now and 2020, a target which was achieved by the IDA alone last year. Why is the Minister not demanding more of his department and jobs agencies? He should be aiming for significantly higher jobs targets, rather than settling for something which is more than achievable.
“Dublin is once again being pitched as the ideal venue for FDI companies to set up operations, however, while the city has a lot to offer, this report chooses to ignore many of the problems already faced by businesses in the capital. Cost competitiveness remains a challenge, especially with the re-emergence of rising property prices, an issue which has been spectacularly ignored by Government Ministers. However, the lack of sustainable housing and commercial property has the potential force major multinationals to overlook Ireland in favour of other European countries.
“While I support every effort to bring more jobs to the country, the Government also needs to focus on the current credit crisis facing small and medium businesses. Credit flow and finance promises made by Ministers have been broken and companies across the country are becoming more and more squeezed as they are refused access to loans and overdrafts. Government plans to make additional credit of around €500m available through the Strategic Banking Corporation is being given a cautious welcome by businesses but the reality of that situation remains to be seen.
“This document talks about the “regions”, but in effect, it is merely paying lip service to areas outside the main cities. There are no concrete plans or specifics in this policy to outline how the Government proposes to attract FDI companies to regional towns. Phrases like “excellent infrastructure” and “quality of life” are bandied about, but there is no explanation about how it intends to make the most of these qualities or what areas it will be selecting to use as an example of how to develop these assets to attract new business.
“This report offers no insight into how the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation proposes to attract new FDI companies. It appears as if it plans to continue what it’s doing and hope for the best. There are no attempts to address the serious problems that are currently affecting businesses here, and no ambitious targets to aim for”.