Government in last chance saloon regarding slow death of the West – Tóibín
Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Regional and Rural Affairs and Sinn Féin Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has said that while Dublin plays a crucial role in our economy, there is increasing frustration in the rest of the state at the seeming asymmetrical division of resources toward the capital to the expense of other areas.
Deputy Tóibín said that in order to create a healthy regional socio-economic balance, the Government must provide than real action and real investment and not just glossy report launches.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“This Government is firmly in the last chance saloon regarding the continuous empting of the regions and the over concentration of economic activity and population in the Dublin region. This spatial distortion serves no one. It over heats scare resources in Dublin and it leads to resource closure in the regions. If the trend continues, it will see Dublin’s population rising to 50% of the state, effectively creating a city state.
“Fianna Fáil’s long defunct spatial plan failed to stem the tilt of resources towards Dublin. This dangerous distortion accelerated under the economic crash and Fine Gael. And despite being in government for 6 years Fine Gael have not seen fit to tackle this issue. There is considerable frustration and cynicism in towns and cities right through the state as Fine Gael have so far governed through glossy report launches rather than real action or real investment.
“It is clear that Dublin has a very important role in the economy. It needs to be built into a functional city of international stature. To do so, we need to ensure that a very small number of other locations in the state are also developed to a critical mass that also attract Foreign Direct Investment and local enterprise growth. This will only happen through disruptive investment. The Government must invest for today’s demand but also to create demand elsewhere in the state.
“Sinn Féin will engage positively with the process that the government has laid out. We will submit a detailed submission based upon creating healthy all Ireland, regional and socio-economic balance. However, this process must be for real. It must be a genuine resourced effort before this spatial distortion becomes irreversible.”