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Deepening geographic economic division a result of lopsided government policy - Tóibín

26 March, 2015

Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin’s Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín accused the Jobs Minister of deepening geographic economic division, describing the Governments regional enterprise strategy as a rehash of commitments made in 2014 with little additional investment and not yet delivered on.

The Meath West TD said:

“Ireland’s tentative economic recovery is predominantly concentrated in the Dublin region. Lopsided economic policies are deepening geographic economic division resulting in employment stagnation and decline in the border, west and south west regions. CSO figures illustrate starkly the economic division Fine Gael and Labour are physically creating throughout the state.

“Employment is falling in the west and southwest, and is stagnant across the border region. This is a divergent trend which means that the spatial imbalances are getting worse.  Internal migration to the east is congesting resources whilst at the same time making life more difficult in the depleted west.

“Government Ministers have their face against implementing practical policy changes that would put more money in low and middle income workers pockets, reduce costs for SMEs, maximise the potential of online sales, assist healthy SMEs tackle legacy debt or strengthening supply chain linkages between indigenous Irish business and FDI.

“Recent promises of a Regional Enterprise Strategy are no more than a rehash of commitments made by government in early 2014 that were not implemented with little new investment and a markedly hands of attitude by a Minister who tells us his number one priority is job creation.

“New structures arising from this framework will need resourcing yet many Local Enterprise Offices across the state are already understaffed. We’ve already highlighted the government’s failure to utilise all-Ireland bodies and cross border projects in the Action Plan for Jobs 2015 and we urge the Minister to revisit this proposal.”

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