Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says the latest report from the Western Development Commission is further evidence of the two tier recovery being perpetrated under Fine Gael.  New figures from the WDC reveals that total employment in Sligo was the lowest of any county in Ireland, increasing by just 2.2% between 2011 and 2016.

Deputy Scanlon commented, “This Government is living in a bubble and is continuing to refuse to acknowledge any of the problems being experienced west of the Shannon.  This latest report from the Western Development Commission is merely confirming what people living in the North West already know.  This region has been left behind by Fine Gael, which seems preoccupied with only creating jobs in the capital and the Greater Dublin Area.

“This report states that total employment growth in Sligo at 2.2% is “significantly below the 11% national growth” and is “the lowest of any county in the State”.  It also points out that Sligo is “one of only six counties where the labour force shrank” and that it “experienced the largest decline nationally”.

“Even local Government TDs appear to be waking up to the reality – earlier this week Tony McLoughlin admitted that “the recovery is barely noticeable in my constituency and it is clear that the Action Plan for Jobs is not working in Sligo and the surrounding region”.  What Deputy McLoughlin does not seem to realise is that he is a member of the lead Government party and should be influencing policy.  The Taoiseach’s claim that “it will be a priority of Government in the months and years ahead to ensure that those parts of the country where the recovery has been slow will experience an acceleration in their recovery” is falling on deaf ears.  People now know that this Government is all spin and no substance.  After six years in office, there is virtually no sign of a recovery here in Sligo or in the North West.

“While the mere fact Government now appears to be recognising the reality that the North West is falling behind other areas may be seen as progress in itself, what we really need is a plan to create balanced regional development so that the counties like Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim are given greater supports and economic opportunities.  The status quo is simply not an option”.