by Paddy Ryan
2011 brought with it hope. A General Election. A new administration based on truth, doing right by the people. Exactly what impact have four years of a Fine Gael and Labour coalition have on economic prosperity in Tipperary? How many more jobs have they brought to Tipperary?
While government spin and press releases promise 90,000 more jobs for Ireland since coming to power, this has not been seen or felt by the people of Tipperary. Any drop in the numbers of people on the Live Register in Tipperary can be accounted for by emigration, I should know as a proud Tipperary man who has relocated to Dublin to find employment.
Latest CSO figures show that the unemployment numbers in Tipperary to have fallen since July and August 2014, but this fall can easily be attributed to those who are returning to education or to upskill as well as those who have emigrated in search of work.
Investigating the CSO Unemployment figures, there are still 6,312 unemployed people in North Tipperary and a further 7,864 in South Tipperary; some 14,176 people in total.
Fine Gael and Labour have continued to cut funding for vital frontline services including employment, youth and drugs projects that deprived communities depend on. They have also increased the cost of other services which again hit low income families hardest. Cuts to children’s allowance, removal of medical cards are to name just two of the cuts which have impacted those in lower socio-economic backgrounds the hardest. The loss of vital bus services has also impacted on those who live in rural areas and have left many feeling isolated and forgotten by our government.
With jobs in Bulmers in Clonmel and Gleeson’s in Borrisoleigh both under threat and no company being courted by any of our Government TD’s to fill the inevitable void, the question must be asked of our TD’s, just what have they to show for their 4 years in Government.
In recent months, we have seen visits to the Premier County from high profile ministers such as Jobs Minister Richard Bruton as well as An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, with no new jobs announcements or jobs initiatives for Tipperary.
The introduction of water charges is seen by many as a cynical attempt to raise taxes and again impacts members of society disproportionally. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Rural Ireland has been forgotten by successive governments and will only lead to further emigration, further rural isolation and the death of small local communities on which our country depends.