Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has said that the final year job figures for 2018 published are a damming indictment of Fine Gael’s stewardship over regional employment policy and shows a continuing imbalance in economic policy despite government statements to the contrary

The latest CSO Labour Force Survey reveals that the two-tier approach to employment creation is deepening under FG.

“A total of 50,500 jobs were created in 2018, which is of course welcome. However, Dublin accounted for over half of total employment gains (51%) and the Greater Dublin Area secured over 70% of the new positions while in the west, and my own constituency of Mayo, we have seen little improvements.

“With Brexit approaching and the uncertainty from a possible no deal exit it is imperative that the government take action to prevent a continued deepening of the regional imbalance between the West and East of the country.

“The government has nowhere to hide – even the Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring recently admitted that “Ireland is imbalanced”.  It is vital for balanced regional development that environments which facilitate job creation are developed-and prioritised- outside the M50.  However, under Fine Gael, this has simply not happened.

“Falling unemployment is very welcome. However, we need a more balanced regional approach to job creation and a new strategy for employment for those in Mayo and the wider region”, concluded Deputy Calleary.