Fianna Fáil Jobs Spokesperson and TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says the Government has delivered more of the same with its latest regional Action Plan Jobs, which is full of vague ideas without any tangible targets.  It’s the fifth such plan launched by Minister Richard Bruton, and is as superficial as its predecessors.

Deputy Calleary commented, “This plan claims that it will get the West back to work but has completely abandoned Ballina, Erris and East Mayo.  While the “plan” includes specific actions for Castlebar and Westport is has failed to outline any any explicit employment or enterprise related commitments for Ballina or Erris.  Like all the plans that have gone before it, there is a serious lack of detail and it a glossy document full of vague aspirations rather concrete proposals.

“Time and again I have emphasised the importance of an IDA Advance Unit for Ballina, but my calls have been consistently ignored by this blinkered Government.  Similar units have been hugely successful in boosting employment and outside investment, while at the same time supporting existing businesses in towns like Letterkenny and Athlone but Ballina has been repeatedly overlooked for such a facility.

“The Taoiseach and Minister Bruton have adopted a tunnel vision approach to this jobs plan, concentrating only on certain towns.  I find it extraordinary that they have done nothing to draw on the huge talent pool in Erris, which worked on the Corrib gas field.  Here we have a bank of talent, with high end offshore construction experience that is completely being ignored.  These highly skilled workers are being lost to the UK and further afield while this Government stands by and waves them off.  We should be designing specific strategies to address the employment slowdown which has arisen following the completion of the gas field.

“Minister Richard Bruton came to Ballina last February, where local businesses raised a number of substantial issues with him to encourage enterprise initiatives to the town – it’s quite clear from the plan launched this week that all of those proposals were ignored”.