‘Truly shocking’ – Labour leader’s anger at lack of state investment in Kilkenny and South East
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY and the South East are being left to lag behind the rest of the country due to the Government’s investment in the region, according to Labour leader Brendan Howlin.
“It is truly shocking that the Government has no significant infrastructure investment plans for the region that needs it most,” he said.
The Labour Party leader spoke out following the publication of Waterford Institute of Technology’s South East Economic Monitor earlier this week.
The study found workers in the South East typically earn half the national average. In Kilkenny, the figure is just 72%.
Deputy Howlin has called for the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan to be re-written to increase investment and economic opportunities in the South East.
“The National Action Plan for Jobs aims to ensure equality of opportunity to find decent employment across the whole country, but this aim needs to be matched with resource allocations,” the Wexford TD added.
“The South East has clearly not received a fair allocation of IDA activity, and this needs to be compensated for in future years. But private investment will only come to the South East if infrastructure and the economic potential of the region is improved. That is why the Project Ireland 2040 plan needs to be completely redrawn to increase the level of State investment going into the region to help build local industries and to attract more private investment.
“It is truly shocking that the Fine Gael Government has no significant infrastructure investment plans for the region that needs it most.
“The South East suffers higher unemployment than nearly every other region, and as this study shows, typical wages in the South East are among the lowest in the country. A major programme of infrastructural development is needed to ensure that the South East has a genuine opportunity to catch up to the level of economic development enjoyed in other areas of the country.”