Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Finian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
I am glad the Taoiseach accepts austerity is not working and will not work. However, may I ask about the details of the action plan? Approximately 135,000 people, or 7.5% of total national employment, are currently employed in agri-food production. In respect of the section of the report on agri-food, where is the response to the proposal to create 5,000 jobs in the sugar industry? I understand a costed plan to create 5,000 jobs was put on the Government's table before Christmas. Is that concrete proposal now dead?
In respect of the arts sector, which supports 21,000 jobs, are any new, huge events planned to create jobs or bring in tourists over the next 12 months? Is there a big ticket item in this report which the Taoiseach can tell the Dáil and the people of Ireland will create a couple of hundred or a couple of thousand jobs?
I ask the Taoiseach to have a serious word with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. I have just received news that he refused to meet a businessman from County Wicklow who has an idea to create thousands of jobs. That is appalling and unacceptable.