Downey wants action on broadband, roads and job creation
IFA President Eddie Downey has said that the delivery of a balanced economic recovery across the country will require the Government to introduce targeted policies and increase investment in the rural economy.
Mr. Downey said: “The most recent CSO figures show contrasting unemployment rates across the country, ranging from 8.8% in Dublin to 12 and 13% in the West, Midlands and South-East regions.
“This highlights the need for Government to introduce more targeted measures, to ensure the economic recovery is better balanced across the regions. Investment in rural enterprises outside of the main urban areas must be a strategic focus of Government”.
Eddie Downey added: “As a priority Government must deliver on its funding commitment for farm schemes under the Rural Development Programme in this year’s budget, to underpin the growth and exports targets of Food Wise 2025”.
The IFA President also called on Government to introduce a Charter for Rural Ireland to drive economic recovery in all parts of the country.
This Charter, he said, should include delivery on a high-quality rural fibre broadband network across rural Ireland, introduction of tax credits to encourage employers to take on apprentices and create sustainable employment in rural communities – and incentives such as double tax relief on rental expenditure and concessions on commercial rates in order to encourage businesses to locate in villages and towns.
Mr. Downey also called for increased policing hours and the ring-fencing of a rural roads budget.