Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy has said that the border, midlands and western region is being severely economically neglected by Fine Gael and Labour.
The Midlands Northwest candidate was speaking following a meeting with senior IDA staff in Leinster House.
Cllr Carthy said:
“The Border, midlands and western region has an enormous amount to offer FDI. It has access to markets through motorways, ports and airports. It has a young, well educated population. But decades of government under-prioritising the area has left the border, midlands and western region struggling to deal with the effects of unemployment and emigration.
“Indeed this region is among the worst in the state for investment in jobs.
“My colleague in the Dáil, Peadar Tóibín TD, recently raised this issue via a Parliamentary Question with the minister.
“During 2013 78 new investments were brought to this state by the IDA. By far the greatest number of investments was for Dublin with 55. That’s 70% of all new IDA business going to 25% of the population.
“Meanwhile 14 counties received no new IDA investment at all last year and eight others received only one new investment. Most of these forgotten counties are in the border, midland and west regions and are suffering from high unemployment, emigration, poverty and depopulation.
“I was glad to be able to raise these issues with members of the IDA this afternoon. It would be fair to say that job investment along the border has all but collapsed and immediate action must be taken in order to rectify the situation and ensure that no more families are torn apart due to forced emigration.
“I am calling for the government to increase the regional funding differential in favour of the BMW region, to allow local regions a structure to better inform FDI policy, to create linkages between local SMEs and FDI and to create and implement real FDI targets to meet the real potential of this region.”