Fianna Fáil Jobs and Enterprise Spokesperson, Niall Collins TD has said that figures obtained by him once again confirm that the IDA is not doing enough to generate economic development in counties outside the Greater Dublin Area.
“Quarter after quarter, the figures speak for themselves. The IDA appear to be doing very little to bring investment to counties in the south, west and border regions. “
Deputy Collins was commenting after receiving a reply from the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD that showed that 46% of all IDA site visits in 2016 (to 30th Sept) took place in the Greater Dublin Area.
“Counties like Leitrim, Monaghan and Roscommon have been completely ignored by the IDA. There is no doubt that this imbalance will continue to entrench a two-tier economy across Ireland. The Government must redouble its efforts to spread any emerging economic recovery fairly, and in a balanced manner.”
“High quality, well-paying jobs are needed in rural Ireland, as much, if not more than in the GDA. Without jobs in rural Ireland, communities will continue to decline, suffer from emigration and more and more pressure will come on already overstretched housing and services in the capital.”
“With incredibly high vacancy rates at IDA sites across the country (85 sites out of 137 were vacant at the end of 2015), the Minister must direct the IDA to prioritise site visits to counties with vacant sites.”
“The infrastructure needed to attract investment, such as high speed broadband needs to be rolled out far quicker. Minister Mitchell O’Connor needs to highlight the importance of connectivity to her colleague, Minister Denis Naughten.”
“We need a whole of Government approach to the regions. Quality broadband and attracting investment to the regions go hand in hand. No amount of Government spin will change the fact that not enough is being done. ” concluded Collins.