Thomas Pringle TD

Thomas criticises Government track record on Rural Development

 

Thomas Pringle TD – May 30th, 2019

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Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle spoke in the Dáil this week criticising Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance’s track record on rural development while in Government together.

Statements on Rural and Community Development was scheduled in the Dáil this week where TDs from all parties and none engaged on a debate about the state of rural development.

“It’s been three years and despite the announcement of a plethora of schemes, rural development has in fact declined. What’s worrying is the acceleration of the rate of decline since this Government came to power” says Pringle.

“I urged the Government to properly look at ways to open up towns and villages to more people. There’s a reason why people look to reside outside of them and it’s due to cost and availability as many own land elsewhere and are able to reduce the cost on themselves and families.

“If the Government  was serious about developing rural Ireland the State should CPO sites within the heart of villages which are laying idle and offer residents a competitive price so they may have an opportunity to live closer to the town centre. This will create cohesion within the community and bring more life and services along with it as well.

“But Fine Gael and the Government won’t do that because of the sacredness of private property.  Fine Gael’s love project with property rights has meant nothing has been done to free up land for better use such as housing development.

“The Action Plan for Jobs has only pushed things over the edge by moving jobs to urban centres and out of small towns and villages, with a particular focus on businesses primed for export rather than local businesses like hairdressers, cafes and butchers.

“Public services have shrunk and in some towns are non-existent after post offices, Garda stations and GP surgeries close down. In some towns even the private sector is leaving such as the last ATM in Ardara.

“I think people are getting a bit fed up with underfunded scheme after scheme coming from Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance. It’s obvious that these schemes have had no impact and it’s obvious that the Government doesn’t have the capacity to manage large scale projects such as rural development and  doesn’t actually care about the future of rural Ireland” concludes Pringle.

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