Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Order of Business
I ask the Leader to invite the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Bruton, to the House to explain Government policy in the spatial context. This request comes in response to ongoing announcements of job creation, which is taking place almost exclusively in Dublin. To emphasise the point, recent statistics indicate that IDA Ireland organised in excess of 250 visits to sites in the Dublin region in the past 12 months, whereas in Leitrim, Sligo and many other counties in the north west and elsewhere, there was no more than one IDA Ireland visit.
We all welcome job creation. I am very much aware that multinational companies tend to decide where they wish to locate. I have no wish to reflect adversely on the work of IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in bringing jobs in a global sense to the country. However, unquestionably the country is developing into a two-tier economy, which is a cause of great concern. It is time for the Government to decide what it wants to do about the rest of the country outside Dublin, with Cork, Limerick and to a lesser extent Galway getting the odd titbit from the table as these announcements are made. I do not single out Waterford because that is where the Leader comes from. The number of visits is small as is the number of jobs created there, with the exception of Eishtec, an indigenous company and not a multinational, which recently announced the creation of 250 jobs.
The Government is giving no priority to trying to encourage companies to locate in Sligo and the midlands, particularly high-tech companies. The nature of high-tech companies is that they do not need to locate in Dublin, but increasingly that is where they are going, to the detriment of the economy in the rest of the country.