28 November 2015
By Bryan Smyth
“Fine Gael’s plan to keep the economic recovery going will bring significant benefits to Cork” according to Fine Gael Cork South West TD, Noel Harrington.
“The increase in people returning to work means the Government has more revenue to invest in better services here in Cork. It also means lower taxes for working people. Cork has been one of the best performing counties throughout the economic recovery, and keeping this recovery going will bring significant benefits to Cork in 2016.
“As part of an €80 million national programme to improve our schools and our children’s education, there will be a new school built in Ballincollig and 32 Cork schools have been awarded funding for significant upgrades and refurbishments. These include: Ballinspittle National School, Gaelscoil Droichead na Bandan, Clonakilty Community College, Gaelscoil Cionn tSáile and Sacred Heart School in Clonakilty. Construction on Skibbereen Community College commenced this year.
“As a result of a €124 million investment by the Government, 1,349 new social housing units will be built in €80.5 million has been allocated to build 1,217 social houses in the rest of the county. The construction of these houses will help create approximately 1,639 jobs during the building phase. Planning permission has also been granted to build 840 new private units in County Cork, with 77 of those being in the City.
“This Government has re-opened Templemore and started recruiting 1,150 new Gardaí highlighting this Government’s commitment to keeping our communities safe and secure. Capital funding of €875 million to invest in Garda stations, vehicles, IT and new burglary laws will also significantly benefit communities in West Cork.
“Agriculture is a key driver of the Cork economy and 2016 will see more vital payments being made to Cork farmers. So far in 2015, 9,753 farmers in Cork received over €78 million in Basic Farm Payments.
“Tourism is supporting thousands of jobs in West Cork and the Government has invested €4.7 million in projects including the Wild Atlantic Way and Garnish Island, in order to drive the industry forward. In the recent Budget the Government retained the 9% VAT rate, which continues to support businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector.
“There are also many other amenities which add to quality of life in Cork and this Government has allocated sports capital funding of €4,521,318 for Cork clubs and societies in 2016. €2.7 million in funding was granted to West Cork sports clubs and organisations over the last three years.
“The largest single financial capital announcement to West Cork in the last decade has been the €20 million funding earmarked for further development of Castletownbere Harbour; works are due to begin in 2016. An additional €2 million this year is to be spent on the ongoing harbour works at Cape Clear and further funding has been allocated for harbours and piers at various locations throughout West Cork.
“The money that is paying for these improvements to our county is a direct result of the 135,000 new jobs that have been created since the Government launched its Action Plan for Jobs in 2012. The South-West Regional Action Plan for Jobs sets out a specific plan to further increase employment by 10-15% in this area, meaning the creation of between 27,780 and 41,670 jobs.
“We have a plan to create more jobs and keep the economic recovery going. As our economy continues to improve and more people return to work, the Government will have more money to invest in public services in Cork and reduce people’s taxes. This will ensure more people and families feel the benefits of the recovering economy in their own lives.”