Meath LEADER draw down 1/7 of national average - Peadar Tóibín TD
Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín has castigated the government for the utter chaos that exists in the delivery of LEADER funding to communities in Meath.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“Not only are we dealing with 18 bureaucratic steps for rural enterprise and community organisations to draw down LEADER funds, but we also see Meath’s draw down for 2017 on the floor compared to other counties.
“LEADER funding is a critical facility to allow community groups and rural enterprises to achieve the necessary funding to proceed with vital projects. These projects create jobs, increase output, and improve lives of people right through rural County Meath.
“This funding is more critical than ever given the widening economic gap between rural Ireland and Dublin city. The government has serious questions to answer as to why Meath is in the ha’penny place when it comes to this funding.
“Shockingly, just prior to the recent budget, I found out that Fine Gael had raided LEADER funding to the tune of 10 million euros. Fine Gael is leaving rural Ireland behind and this has to change.
“We are calling for no more than our fair share of LEADER funding for the county in 2018 and we are demanding that the government reform the process so that rural energies are not swallowed by bureaucracy, but are directed towards developing rural enterprises.”