South East left behind through Government indifference – Cullinane
David Cullinane, Sinn Féin TD for Waterford, has urged the government to implement the findings of the South East Economic Development Strategy as an immediate priority, saying that “for fourteen years now, the South East has been side-lined by national policy.”
Deputy Cullinane said:
“Today’s academic report from WIT just confirms what the people of the South East already know from their own experience; they have been left behind by successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments. The re-election of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach just adds insult to injury.
“The issues of education, regional jobs investment, and health did not emerge overnight. The recession in the South East took hold in 2002, five years before the rest of the state. It shows that Fianna Fail have as much commitment to the region as the present government. For fourteen years now, the South East has been side-lined by national policy.
“The report also passes a damning verdict on the IDA, saying that had it given the South East as much time and effort as other regions, there’d be an extra 10,000 jobs in existence today. This is unforgivable.
“Yet, none of this is new. The Oireachtas South East Economic Development Strategy report that I was instrumental in publishing three years ago highlighted all these issues as well as outlining strategies that would counter the marginalisation of the South East.
“It’s a pity the government didn’t take up the findings then as we’d now be three years into a planned recovery of the region instead of once again hearing about the inaction of Fine Gael and their partners in government.
“All this shows the need for a genuine and real alternative to the establishment parties and their supporters if we are to have any chance of genuinely turning things around for the South East.”