Fine Gael candidate in Tipperary, Noel Coonan TD has said that keeping the recovery going for rural and farming communities will bring more jobs to Tipperary, by contrast with Fianna Fáil’s treatment of the agri-food sector as a ‘sunset industry’, which decimated rural Ireland. Noel Coonan TD was speaking after Fine Gael launched its proposals to support rural Ireland, as part of Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going.
“Rural communities are critical to Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going inTipperary. The plan has three steps: more and better jobs; making work pay; and sensible investment in our public services like healthcare, transport and infrastructure.
Deputy Coonan continued: “The roll out of the Mid-West Regional Action Plan for Jobs will drive local job creation in Tipperary and bring down unemployment to under 7% in all regions.
“The implementation of €300 million in taxation measures to encourage greater mobility and opportunity in the agri-food sector will also help to drive employment. Fine Gael already introduced a €25,000 Family Transfer Partnership tax incentive to assist succession.
“The implementation of the Foodwise 2025 strategy will increase agri-food industry exports by 85% to €19 billion by 2025 and deliver 23,000 new jobs nationally. We will grow those exports by expanding the dairy, beef, seafood and consumer food and drinks sectors.
Deputy Coonan continued: “The €4 billion Rural Development Programme will benefit rural communities in Tipperary and we are committed to carrying out a mid-term review to ensure the full draw down of all EU funds.
“With a strong agriculture sector and a strong economy we can put the recovery to work by investing in new public services right here in Tipperary.
“No town or village in Tipperary will be left behind in the National Broadband Plan which will deliver 85% national coverage by 2018 and full coverage by 2020.
“Fine Gael is determined to stop the decline in our post office network and is pursuing new business opportunities to help our post offices thrive again. We are also committed to ensuring that patients throughout the country continue to have access to GP Services, especially in remote rural areas and that general practice remains sustainable in such areas into the future.
“Fianna Fáil deserted rural Ireland and their mismanagement decimated Tipperary. The agri-food sector was treated as a ‘sunset industry’ and agricultural colleges were threatened with closure as young farmers were encouraged to ditch their family business and take up jobs in construction instead. As a result, exports fell by 17% under Fianna Fáil.
“With 300,000 jobs lost under Micheál Martin’s watch, many parents saw their sons and daughters leave Tipperary for the UK, Australia, Canada and the US. In our long-term plan to keep the recovery going and create 200,000 jobs, Fine Gael wants to give them the opportunity to come home.
“Fine Gael believes that work must pay for our farmers, fishermen, foresters and small food processors, most of whom are self-employed. The average farming family have already seen their tax bills fall by €800 a year with our cuts to USC and reforms for the self-employed. Farmers are best positioned to benefit from Fine Gael’s plan to completely abolish the USC and ending the discrimination of the self-employed in the tax system.
“Rural communities and businesses have a choice; between the Fianna Fáil party who treated agriculture as a sunset industry, or a Government that has put agriculture back at the top of the economic agenda. Fine Gael has a Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going here in Tipperary based on three simple steps; more and better jobs; making work pay and investing in better services,” concluded Deputy Coonan.