Fianna Fáil is misrepresenting Project 2040 in an attempt to discredit what is a good plan for rural Ireland, a Fine Gael TD has claimed.
Joe Carey TD, Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development, has said that despite false claims, the plan will provide an additional €1 billion to strengthen communities and support families across the country.
“Rural Ireland is set to benefit from Project Ireland 2040 to the tune of an additional €1 billion in funding from Minister Michael Ring’s Department of Rural and Community Development.
“Claims by Fianna Fáil that that this €1 billion investment in rural Ireland is made up of the €87 million already going to rural Ireland each year in capital spending, are patently false.
“Unfortunately members of the Opposition are looking for any excuse to knock Project Ireland 2040, and are trying to discredit what is a good plan for the future development of this country. Fianna Fáil would be better off coming up with positive ideas for rural Ireland, instead of opposition for opposition’s sake.
“The truth is, the €1 billion from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is additional investment on top of what we already spend on schemes under Minister Ring’s Department of Rural and Community Development. These include the Town and Village Renewal, Rural Recreation Scheme, LIS, LEADER, all of which combined have an allocation of €88 million for 2018.
“The additional investment under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will commence in 2019 and will ramp up incrementally over the first 4 years before reaching a steady level of investment.”
Fine Gael in Government is overseeing a 60% increase in funding for the Department of Rural and Community Development next year and a doubling of expenditure within four years. (see note to Editors).
“This funding is going to strengthen communities, support families and provide for proper planning for the future of rural Ireland.
“The objective of the new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will be to invest in our rural towns, villages and outlying rural areas and in so doing, drive further investment by agencies, local authorities and other public bodies.
“In addition, the €2 billion Urban Regeneration Fund will significantly benefit large rural towns which are vital hubs and drivers of the local economy.
“For the first time in the history of the State, Fine Gael is ensuring that our spatial planning is going to be backed up with solid investment and it will deliver for our citizens.
“The National Planning Framework which forms part of Project Ireland 2040 sets out how Ireland can grow in a sustainable, balanced fashion over the next twenty years, and it is backed by a €115bn National Development Plan. 50% of population growth is planned for our towns, villages and rural communities and 50% for our cities. The future is bright for rural Ireland, despite what the Opposition might say.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
There will be a 60% increase in Department of Rural and Community Development funding next year and a doubling of expenditure within four years.