Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs to deliver jobs for Clare – Breen

October 19th, 2015 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael TD for Clare, Pat Breen has said that he is confident that the Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs, launched today by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, will build on Clare’s strengths and successfully create new jobs.

“The Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs, which applies to Clare, Limerick and Tipperary aims to deliver 10-15% employment growth in the region by 2020, this means up to 23,000 extra jobs. The plan is part of the Government’s €250 million regional jobs strategy.

“The Mid-West suffered more than other areas during the crisis. At the height of the recession unemployment in this region rose to 16% and that rate has fallen to 11.2% this year, as over 4,000 new jobs have been added to the economy. The unemployment rate is still way too high, but the number of people at work is now increasing steadily and we need to build on that.

“Tourism is key to the economy in Clare and there is huge potential for further growth. The newly independent Shannon Airport provides easy access to the area and an investment of €21 million has also been made to build advance units in the Shannon Free Zone. The retention of the 9% VAT rate has been a further boost to the tourism sector and the plan aims to harness this potential.

“As part of the plan the goal is to grow overseas tourist numbers to 1.26 million by 2025. This would increase overseas tourism revenue to €375 million and grow employment by 25%.

“This plan aims to increase the number of start-ups by at least 25% and growing employment among the existing companies, who already employ over 30,000 people in this region. SMEs support thousands of jobs in Clare, Budget 2016 introduced a new tax credit for the self-employed and we must continue to grow the number of small businesses.

“We also want to attract more investment. The IDA is aiming for a 30% to 40% increase in projects bringing the number to a total of 66 investments.

“As part of the plan we will strengthen the aviation, lifesciences, engineering and internationally traded services sectors. In addition, a goal has been set to increase the value of agri-food exports by 85% by 2025.
“The success of this plan will depend on local and Government buy in. We know that some regions are growing quicker than others and that is why the Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs has been established.

“It is vital that the recovery is felt in every region and by every community. The Mid-West is a strong region with great potential and I am confident that with local support, and Government backing, we can implement this plan with great results.”