Government has turned its back on rural Ireland from day one - Matt Carthy TD
Sinn Féin TD for Cavan/Monaghan Matt Carthy has said that the government has turned its back on rural Ireland from day one.
Deputy Carthy highlighted that the Department of Rural and Community Development has been downgraded, that there are no substantial proposals on regional and rural development in the Programme for Government, and that no senior Ministers have been appointed from the Western seaboard, the South-East or the Mid-West.
Teachta Carthy said: "The very first decision the new Taoiseach Micheál Martin had to make he has gotten absolutely wrong.
"Once again rural Ireland and the regions are being left behind at a time when they need most support. One of its main industries - tourism - has virtually collapsed and the family farm is facing a threat for survival.
"It is not just the lack of senior government Ministers from the Western seaboard from Clare to Donegal, the South-East, or the Mid-West that is creating this sense of abandonment. We have seen Ministers from these counties in the past that failed to deliver.
"Rather it is the signal that this represents alongside the downgrading of the Department of Rural and Community Development. These signals coupled with the absence of any substantial proposals for rural development and for tackling regional inequalities in the Programme for Government will reinforce the concerns of many communities.
"It is the fact that rural communities will be most impacted by increasing Carbon Taxes and who face increasing penalties for using their cars where they have no other options, and it is the fact that rural towns, villages and communities are facing severe economic difficulties as a result of Covid-19.
"Rural Ireland is being squeezed and this government has turned its back on these communities from day one. What is needed is a real plan for rural Ireland; a plan that will get small and medium businesses back up and running, that will save our family farm network and develop the potential of the regions.
"This government clearly lacks the vision and ambition required to develop and implement such a plan.”