Government devoid of ideas for job creation in Cavan/Monaghan – Senator Reilly
In today’s sitting of the Seanad, Sinn Féin Cavan/Monaghan Senator, Kathryn Reilly, questioned the Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation as to how the recently launched Action Plan for Jobs-Regional would benefit the Border region and how investment and jobs can be created there.
Senator Reilly said:
“The reality about the Action Plan for Jobs-Regional is that there is none. The government haven’t got a regional action plan for jobs - they have a framework, and the framework is to establish a template. The template is to set up a pilot scheme, and the pilot scheme is to be rolled out in the midlands first. This is apropos of nothing; there is no concrete tailored plan to date for regional job creation.
“Figures released to Sinn Féin demonstrate that enterprise agencies are failing to support many parts of the country, and worryingly, the number of potential investor visits has reduced in 2014, from an already scarce base.
“Many counties such as Cavan and Monaghan are suffering disproportionately from the economic downturn, with unemployment rates and emigration well above the state wide average. It would appear that the inaction of the enterprise agencies to bring potential investors is exasperating the regional disparities in employment.
“Since 2008, there have been 10 IDA Ireland sponsored site visits to Cavan but only a paltry 2 to Monaghan. There have been 306 gross losses of jobs in Cavan and 267 in Monaghan during the same period.
In the Department press release accompanying “A Framework for the development of Regional Enterprise Strategies,” it states:
“€100 million in Enterprise Ireland funding will be made available over 5 years through a series of competitive calls. The first tranche of €50million will be made available from 2015. Funding under these programmes will be allocated on a competitive basis, with most funds awarded to regional projects offering the best prospects for job-creation.”
“But the regions that through competitive advantage, such as proximity to Dublin or other cities, or the availability of infrastructure already have better prospects for job creation than border regions and by this logic such areas will benefit more from this scheme than counties such as Cavan and Monaghan.
“The Taoiseach stated that this was a “plan to ensure that no part of Ireland is left behind in the jobs recovery.” But so far it looks as though Cavan and Monaghan are to be left behind by this government again.”