The Sinn Féin EU candidate for the Midlands North West constituency Matt Carthy has called on the government to put in place a job creation strategy for the border area which he described as “suffering from an unemployment emergency.”
Carthy made his call in advance of a meeting between Monaghan County Council and the IDA which is to be held next Wednesday and which he will be attending.
Speaking in Monaghan today Councillor Carthy said:
“While I welcome the fact that the meeting is to take place between Monaghan County Council and the IDA, it is unfortunate that the Minister with responsibility for job creation, Richard Bruton, has refused to meet local authorities to discuss the crisis that is evident throughout the border region.
“With unemployment at 17.7%, the second highest in the country, it is clear that the border area is suffering from an unemployment emergency. 65,000 people in the border region were unemployed in 2012 with 19% of all young people under 25 out of work. This coupled with the fact that the border region suffers more than most, with massive levels of emigration, it is clear that there needs to be a targeted strategy in place specifically for this region.
“The negative impacts of partition along with decades of underinvestment by successive governments, particularly in strategic infrastructure, have left Counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth struggling to survive. The austerity policies imposed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour have made a bad situation much worse.
“What we need to see here is a meaningful strategy for job creation for the border area. We need to be in a position to keep our graduates in our communities and to encourage those who have left to come home. Engaging with the IDA and other bodies is of course to be encouraged but until that strategy is in place the government would be doing little more than tinkering around the edges of the problem.
“The people behind these figures deserve more than dole queues and emigration. It is time for the government to act and to present a strategy to get the border region back to work.”