IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey has launched a policy framework for supporting rural Ireland, The Irish Countryside – A Place for Living, Working + Enjoyment.
The comprehensive policy covers a diverse range of issues, including the provision of services such as planning, roads, transport and communications; job creation through enterprise and renewable energy; and attracting visitors to the countryside.
Eddie Downey, who Chairs IFA Countryside said, “There are many issues of common concern to all families living in the countryside. IFA Countryside is dedicated to campaigning on these issues to deliver a better quality of life for those living in rural Ireland. Whether it is driving enterprise and jobs, or improving services such as transport, planning or roads, we will continue to highlight the benefits of investing in rural Ireland as part of our drive for economic recovery.”
Mr Downey said, “This document also identifies specific measures that could create extra employment. We want to see the Jobs Scheme adapted to provide €5,000 for every job retained for two years in a rural enterprise that employs fewer than ten people. The renewable energy potential, if tapped, could help to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels and generate economic activity along our coast.”
IFA National Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell said, “The Government can realise a substantial return if they address the issues in this policy framework. Much of what we have set out can be achieved at very little cost, but it can do a lot to enhance our rural communities.”