31/07/2014

FF Criticised For Doing Little To Promote Job Growth In Offaly

Fine Gael TD and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has, criticised Fianna Fáil's 'politically-motivated and disingenuous comments' about jobs in the midlands.

She said: "I find it a bit rich of Fianna Fáil to criticise job creation in the midlands when the fact of the matter is that this Government took over at a time when the economy had nose-dived and Offaly was haemorrhaging jobs; they reduced by a third between 2008 and 2010 and many of the jobs lost were positions created through the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), the agency responsible for overseas investment.

"IDA jobs have increased, albeit at a modest pace, under this Fine Gael led government. There is no doubt there is more work to be done and I intend to continue to advocate for Laois/Offaly as an excellent location for IDA investment.

"However, it is also important to bear in mind that IDA jobs account for less than 10% of jobs around the country. 91% of all employment is in non-IDA areas of activity. We must work on these areas as well as on those where IDA Ireland attracts investment.

"The Government has prioritised regional economic development as part of its 2014 Action Plan for Jobs, through the development of a regional enterprise strategy, a new regional aid map and the establishment of the network of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). In 2013, for the first time in many years, every region experienced employment expansion. It is noteworthy that this is included in the midlands."

(CD/JP)

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