Jobs plan can create and protect employment

In Blog by Denis Naughten

With 1000 people a week predicted to emigrate this year alone Ireland urgently needs to create jobs and growth.

We saw a total absence of any job creation plan from the previous Government which resulted in an entire generation of long-term unemployed. We urgently need a targeted solution.

Fine Gael’s NewERA plan will see an additional €7 billion invested over the next four years in ‘next generation’ infrastructures in energy, broadband, forestry and water. This investment will have a positive impact on business costs and external competitiveness.

It will give a long term future to our power stations in Shannonbridge and Lanesboro while also providing a cash crop for local farmers in relation to the growing of bio-mass. The plan will also address the ongoing issues regarding poor water supplies in South Roscommon and will ensure clean, drinkable tap water.

The plan will deliver high-speed broadband to one million homes across the country. We currently have a situation where we have a network of State owned fibre cable with no cohesive plan on how to deliver on the roll-out of broadband. We want to use the existing fibre network – which is owned by Board Gais, ESB and CIE – as the backbone to support the roll out of high-speed broadband directly to people’s home.

Local communities and football teams now have to face the grim prospect of being decimated by the scourge of emigration. We must provide hope and a Government with the ambition and vision to implement plans to address Ireland’s economic challenges.

The priority must be to ensure that no young person falls into the long-term unemployment trap and in the process loses their chance to participate fully in society. We must guarantee places in education, training, community employment and Government-sponsored internship for any young person who is on social welfare.

We have now gone from a situation during the time of the last Fine Gael led Government where we were creating 1,000 jobs/week to a situation where 1,000 people/week are leaving Ireland.

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The map highlights the existing fibre network across the country which could be used to deliver high speed broadband to homes.