Rural Ireland is alive but it is also changing. Fine Gael is backing that change and investing in a new future for Rural Ireland. We’re determined to spread the recovery throughout Ireland. That’s why we’re delivering local jobs for local people through our regional jobs plans. Agri-food is thriving and tourism is rebounding strongly. We’re supporting the small businesses that will revive main streets. Fine Gael is backing this up with a plan to deliver high-speed broadband to every home and business Ireland.
AGRICULTURE & FOOD
Fine Gael believes agri-food is one of the key drivers of the recovery. The new CAP deal will see 60,000 farmers receive an increase in payments and the €4bn Rural Development Programme will develop the economic and social fabric of rural communities up until 2020.
We scrapped the air travel tax, introduced a special 9% VAT rate and developed new ideas like the Gathering and Wild Atlantic Way. Ireland’s Ancient East will promote tourism in the east and our new Tourism strategy – ‘People, Place and Policy’ – should grow jobs in the sector by 50,000.
Fine Gael is working to ensure that jobs growth is evenly spread across Ireland. The Government’s new Regional Action Plan for Jobs will accelerate job-creation in every region, while local businesses are now being supported by a network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices.
Many homes and businesses in Ireland are still waiting for high-speed, high quality broadband. The economic recovery is now allowing us to put the funds in place to bring broadband to every community in Ireland. Fine Gael wants to see dedicated funding allocated to back up the National Broadband Plan, which will help drive the economic recovery in rural Ireland.
WE WILL DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO SPEED UP DELIVERY OF THE NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN.
Other parties talk up the demise of rural Ireland. Fine Gael doesn’t buy into this. We want to ‘change the conversation’ about rural Ireland and show that it is alive. We want to support and celebrate all that is good about rural Ireland by putting a spotlight on the great spirit, drive and passion of rural communities all over the country. We are encouraging everyone to join in the campaign by using #ruralchampions if you are out and about at events or engaging in activities locally.