Deputy Thomas Pringle has slammed an Action Plan claiming Donegal was pitched with contrasting counties like Louth in order to skew jobs figures for the entire region.
The Deputy says the idea that Donegal and Louth are included under one Action Plan doesn’t make sense.
He said “The two have completely different economic needs. It is clear this was done so that positive job figures in Louth will skew the figures overall in the region to make the Government look good.
“I’ve raised this issue before in the Dáil but I was told I was playing a numbers game. It’s not me playing. The Government proposes 28,000 jobs by 2020 but how many of these are promised for Donegal? It’s the highest populated county out of a total of six counties included in this Plan yet Donegal remains peripheral to its proposals.
He added that Donegal should have been given a sub-regional action plan that reflects the unique circumstances of the county and its economic development needs while targeting the legacy of years of under-investment and continued marginalisation from national policies.
“If the Government was serious about job creation it would invest in local jobs which are sustainable to rural communities. This could have been reflected in an expedited plan to roll out broadband infrastructure to peripheral and remote areas working inwards towards more populated areas.
“This would ensure that most of Donegal could catch up with other urban centres and counties across Ireland experiencing growth and would give people the scope to create their own jobs within their own communities.
“There is an over- reliance on IDA investment to bring in the majority of these jobs but the reality is it will do little outside of urban centres in Donegal. It’s not rural-friendly.
“Investing in rural- friendly industries like biomass would ensure people stay in rural Ireland. I do welcome the inclusion of biomass in one of the actions outlined but it’s an ongoing project that lacks a timeline or job projections. It’s important that funding continues to be invested in biomass development to maximise job potential.
“I welcome the mention of the Killybeg’s Regional Seafood Development Hub and the commitment to develop a Renewable Energy Innovation Centre at Killybegs. However, it’s vital that funding is secured to ensure maximise job creation in the sector and the region as a whole.
“Education and training do feature in the Action Plan however there is no sign of commitment to keep the Killybegs campus of LYIT open. This facility will be vital for the areas it serves and for training people for local jobs.Tags: