Brexit cannot impede the work of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland – Quinlivan
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has welcomed the Taoiseach’s statement that the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Employment will be working to ensure certainty on the terms of the future trading relationship between Ireland and Britain.
Noting that the work of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland will take on an even more crucial significance in the months ahead, Deputy Quinlivan said:
“Already, Enterprise Ireland has identified diversification into other international markets; enhanced UK market supports, management and competitiveness supports, and the management of any potential currency exchange impacts, as key priorities.
“The UK’s decision to leave the EU will present significant new challenges for Irish companies exporting to the UK and Irish companies will need additional support to help them maintain their UK presence.
“It is in this context that I find reports in the media that the government has been engaged in a cost cutting exercise at Enterprise Ireland astonishing.
“Reports suggest that the workforce at the agency has been cut from 797 people at the end of 2011 to a targeted 597 at the end of this year.
“Enterprise Ireland has said that managing a downsized organisation, generating income from investments and rolling out a new engagement model to clients will pose challenges.
“If we add to this set of existing challenges, Brexit, and the fact that companies supported by Enterprise Ireland employed more than 192,000 people last year cuts to staff and to its budget make absolutely no sense.
“There can be little doubt but that Brexit has created huge uncertainty across EU and in Ireland.
“Going forward the emphasis must be on initiatives and policies that foster the best interests of Irish businesses both at home and abroad, and that protect the jobs of workers in Ireland.
“Middle and low-income workers in Ireland will not tolerate further cuts to wages and services under the guise of Brexit paranoia.
“The onus is now very much on the government and on the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to step up to the plate. Workers pay and conditions must be protected and a conscious and deliberate policy of balanced regional development vigorously pursued.
“We must also protect Irish businesses and ensure that Enterprise Ireland is adequately staffed and resourced to do its job.”