Lack of focus on Kerry in the National Development Plan 'disappointing' - Pa Daly TD
Sinn Féin TD for Kerry Pa Daly has expressed his disappointment with the lack of focus on Kerry in the National Development Plan.
Teachta Daly said:
“Considering the events of the past 18 months, where the world has radically changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is particularly disappointing to see the complete lack of vision in the National Development Plan.
“The plan is hard to distinguish from the previous NDP, with the notable exception that it lacks details on costs, timelines and completion dates for the projects it references.
“Public transport literally continues to be a series of missed connections nationwide, and it offers absolutely nothing for the people of Kerry.
"When it costs someone from Kerry €80 to travel to Dublin, we know that this is a completely unaffordable service. An adult bus ticket from Tralee to Listowel is €9.50 – very few people can afford that on a regular basis.
“University Hospital Kerry has been in crisis for some time now, however there is really nothing to address UHK’s needs for A&E resources, nurse and consultant staffing or ambulance service in this plan.
"We need a strategic plan to develop the hospital such that it will serve the needs of the people of Kerry at all times of the year.
“While there is an increase in health spending within the NDP, there is apparently no major investment in Health in all of the Southern Region in the plan. Reading the plan, it would appear that Sláintecare Reforms are well underway, but of course we know this is not the case.
“The single IDA visit to Kerry for all of 2020 appears to be reflected in the plan also, as there is to be no real investment or focus on bringing enterprise to the county, in particular North Kerry where the Tarbert-Ballylongford Landbank has again been ignored. The North Kerry Taskforce appears dormant.
“Housing again lacks investment and ambition with only about €350-400 million additional in funding being made available for Budget 2022 over 2021. In terms of social housing, this NDP provides 1,000 less social houses per year than the previous NDP.
“Unfortunately the NDP appears to be taking us backwards instead of investing in our future.
“This plan needs to be revised with clear commitments on investment and timelines to deliver included. This is the only way we will have accountability.
“While it is not true to say that the emperor has no clothes, it is true to say that the emperor is wearing the same attire as four years ago, and it is increasingly threadbare.”