Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy has accused the government of “doing nothing” to alleviate economic and social deprivation in the border region.
The Midlands Northwest candidate was reacting to new figures produced by the Central Statistics Office which show that the border counties of Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Sligo, Leitrim and Louth represent the lowest earning region in the state, with average disposable income of €16,894, nearly 11pc lower than the average.
Cllr Carthy, who is in Donegal today, said:
“Decades of underinvestment by successive governments, particularly in strategic infrastructure, have left the borderlands struggling to survive. The austerity policies imposed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour have also had a devastating impact on the region. This can be plainly seen in the CSO figures published today which that disposable income in the border region is nearly 11pc lower than average.
“This region also has the highest rates of unemployment, empty homes, medical card holders, voter apathy and emigration and lower levels of investment than anywhere else in this state. This is further evidence of the negative impact of partition, and the neglect of successive governments, on this region.
“Clearly Fine Gael and Labour are doing nothing to alleviate economic deprivation in border counties.
“I am calling for an intensive job creation strategy for the border region. Without significant job creation this part of the country will continue to be left behind.”