Denis Naughten TD has welcomed the publication of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) Report 2020, which dovetails in its recommendation with those put forward by the Regional Group of Independent TDs in their Pre-Budget Submission.
“The core objective behind our Pre-Budget Plan is to get families, workers and students out of our cities, where housing and services are in huge demand, and instead support people to bring life back into remote rural communities,” explained Denis Naughten.
“This dovetails with the recommendations set out in the National Competitiveness Council report which has made a series of recommendations to Government to help workers and employers cope with the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
“The Report identifies that remote working will play a bigger role in the future of work and that investment in the delivery of the National Broadband Plan is vital to meet the future challenges within our economy.
“These are also issues that have been specifically addressed in our Pre-Budget Submission to provide additional financial assistance and training support for public and private sector employers to support employees working from home and digital hubs/coworking hubs in our local towns.”
Denis Naughten added: “In addition to providing places to work we want to see a €15,000 grant introduced for first-time buyers purchasing an existing property in a town or village with a significant residential vacancy rate. This will help to address the issue of housing highlighted in the NCC Report and also help to bring life back into our villages across Ireland, many of which have not had a football kicked on their streets in a generation.
“And, in tandem with the NCC Report, we also want to see a focus on addressing climate change. The council recommends the Government establish a ‘one-stop shop’ environmental hub for companies and we are looking to build on the new An Post initiative with a similar approach for homeowners with the introduction of a 0% loan for retrofitting homes. This could very well be extended to business as well with access to EU funding.
“We want to pilot a renewable electricity microgeneration programme for farms which could, if successful, be extended to more businesses. Piloting this initiative to the agriculture sector would be an ideal way to identify the challenges with microgeneration in advance of implementing the commitments that I signed Ireland up to under the EU Renewable Energy Directive.
“The pandemic crisis while presenting huge challenges for our economy also has the potential to produce a significant and positive knock-on effect if managed correctly, by taking pressure off the already overstretched housing, road and water infrastructure in our major cities, as well as driving competitiveness within our economy,” concluded Denis Naughten.
Link to Regional TDs pre-budget submission: https://denisnaughten.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/RegionalGroup-Pre-Budget-Submission-2021.pdf
Link to National Competitiveness Council Report 2020: http://www.competitiveness.ie/publications/2020/ireland%20s%20competitiveness%20challenge%202020.pdf