Independent Euro candidate Ronan Mullen has called for a strong response from the Government to the newly released figures that show the massive economic inequality between various regions within the country.
While recent figures released by Eurostat found that as regards GDP per capita Ireland as a whole fared well, the level of disparity between the regions is dramatic. The figures found that the Regional GDP per capita for the Southern and Eastern region of Ireland was 39,900 euros while in the Border, Midlands and Western (BMW) region the figure was only 23,700 euros. In terms of purchasing power standards, this means that the Southern and Eastern region saw GDP per capita at 145% of the EU average, while the Border, Midlands and Western region was only at 86%.
Senator Mullen said:
“There is clearly major inequality here between the regions. This inequality is not new and it is high time that the Government take proactive steps to redress it. We need fresh ideas on tax incentives in the BMW region to encourage business and employment and we need to do as much as possible to encourage banks to extend credit to SMEs. High quality broadband and investment in infrastructure is also essential.”
“It is a travesty that some EU funds that were available to the BMW region were not drawn down by the Government. This demonstrates a lack of interest in balanced regional development from Dublin. I am calling on the Government to take proactive steps to redress this economic equality within our country and to put in place structures to ensure that EU funding deadlines are never missed again.”
“The people of rural Ireland work hard to pay their taxes and raise their families in ever straightened circumstances. They deserve better.”