Labour launches plan for rural economy

06 February 2016

 The Labour Party today launched ‘Standing up for Rural Ireland’, the party’s plan for balanced regional development.

Among the key provisions of the plan are:

  • A new €200m investment in regional growth centres
  • An increased investment in transport and connectivity
  • Greater support for small scale agriculture food production and rural development
  • A new social enterprise scheme to rejuvenate rural towns and villages
  • Making rural life safer and more sustainable

Minister for rural affairs Ann Phelan said: “Labour has had a decades-long commitment to rural communities, and I know this will continue into the future.

“The pace of change in rural areas is probably greater now than at any time in our recent history.

“This poses challenges, but it also provides opportunities, and my task, since I became Minister has been to ensure that we maximise those opportunities so that the recovery that is now under way in Ireland, will also be felt outside the major population centres.

“This government, with Labour at its heart, has stood up for rural communities, and we will continue to do so.

Tanaiste Joan Burton said: “I know the devastating effect that the economic collapse inflicted on rural Ireland. The impact from the collapse of the construction sector was particularly devastating, with many more jobs also lost in the retail and tourism sectors.

“There are still vacant shops and hotels in many areas, serving as a stark reminder of the vacuum left by Fianna Fail’s reckless economic management. But over the last five years, Labour has made a steady start in ending the crisis and beginning to fix many of the problems.

“We are determined to continue that work – rejuvenating towns and villages, the lifeblood of rural Ireland.”

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