Spring Statement shows neglect of rural Ireland – McKee

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

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Renua Ireland by-election candidate for Carlow/Kilkenny Patrick McKee has criticised the Government’s Spring Statement, saying it demonstrates the continued policy of driving an exclusively Dublin-based economic recovery.

Renua Ireland by-election candidate for Carlow/Kilkenny Patrick McKee has criticised the Government’s Spring Statement, saying it demonstrates the continued policy of driving an exclusively Dublin-based economic recovery.

Councillor McKee said that there was a notable absence of any mention of rural Ireland or small businesses in the Government’s Spring Statement, which was delivered yesterday.

“The fact that neither Minister Noonan nor Minister Howlin made any reference to rural Ireland during their speeches is evidence that this government is doing nothing to improve the day-to-day lives of people living in our smaller cities, towns and villages,” he said.

“Emigration, economic stagnation and the punitive taxation of small businesses has crippled the high streets of smaller cities and rural towns, and has sucked the life out of many communities around the country.

“For the majority of people outside of Dublin, there has been no visible economic recovery. There are over 47,000 people on the Live Register in the South East region, and nearly 6,000 in Carlow alone.”

Renua has positioned itself as a champion of small businesses, which it says are the most significant drivers of prosperity and employment across the country. It says the Government is allowing a discriminatory regime of taxation and social welfare to undermine our indigenous enterprise and discourage entrepreneurialism.

“A key plank of my election campaign is to celebrate and promote rural communities and rural economies, not just for Carlow Kilkenny but for all of Ireland,” said Cllr McKee.

“If elected to Dáil Éireann in the forthcoming by-election, I will continue this campaign to seek an alternative to the Dublin based recovery this government is pursuing.”