Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin calls for action as the Southeast and Midlands are identified as the most disadvantaged regions in the state

31 March, 2004

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP and EU candidates for the East constituency Councillor John Dwyer are today on a tour of Kildare, Westmeath and Louth where they are meeting with community groups and addressing public meetings.

Speaking in Mullingar this afternoon Sinn Féin East EU candidate John Dwyer has called for concerted action to improve infrastructure and bring employment to the South East and Midlands after they were identified as the most disadvantaged regions in the state.

Councillor Dwyer said:

"The report delivered by Teagasc to the rural development conference in Tullamore presents a depressing picture of the Southeast and Midlands region in terms of economic performance. Household income in the Southeast and Midlands is now below 85% of the average, whilst in the border and western region it is nearly 90% of the average. In Wexford for example, the household income has dropped by 4% to 83% of the average income across the state.

"While the report makes depressing reading, nobody should be surprised at its findings. Over the past number of years, there have been a large number of job losses in small towns across Leinster particularly in the manufacturing sector and in agriculture. There is no sense of a government plan to address these problems and last minute announcements for decentralisation won't compensate for the lack of a strategy.

"Sinn Féin has consistently called for a long term strategy for regional development. We need to secure long term employment, support small businesses, improve public services and bring forward proposals for rural development. The people of the Southeast and Midlands deserve better than a future of economic deprivation and poverty. "ENDS

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