Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Funding of over €58,000 to help prevent flooding in Ashbourne

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said today (Wednesday) that funding of over €58,000 is being provided to help prevent flooding in Ashbourne in Co. Meath.

“This funding, which has been approved for Meath County Council, comes under the OPW’s Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. It will be used to appoint consultants to investigate the causes of flooding in the Ashbourne area and come up with solutions. 

“This investment in flood prevention works is great news for the Ashbourne area. We all remember the heavy rain that swept across the country last November, hitting Meath particularly badly and causing dreadful damage.

“Flooding is a serious problem and what we need is a quick response to help ensure that we’re prepared the next time heavy rain hits.

“Flood prevent is something that this Government is committed to investing in. Yesterday, as part of the Capital Investment Plan a €430 million 5 year programme of flood defence measures was unveiled. The flood protection capital programme 2016 – 2021 will build on the very significant investment that has already been undertaken in flood relief works throughout the country over the last 20 years, with over €410 million invested in that period in flood risk management. The further substantial investment announced yesterday will allow this significant work programme to continue to address the most urgent flood risk problems facing the country.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Childcare needs to be a priority in Budget 2016

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said today (Tuesday) that reducing childcare costs and ensuring the provision of quality childcare needs to be a priority in Budget 2016.

“Recent surveys have indicated that parents need to be earning up to €30,000 per year just to cover the cost of childcare for two children. This places a severe financial burden on already hard pressed families. It’s important that in next week’s Budget, the Government commits to strategic investment in childcare to ensure that we increase affordability, quality and accessibility for parents and children across Ireland.

“A recent report, launched by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly TD, provides a clear path for future investment and represents an ambitious and detailed plan for childcare in Ireland. For parents some of the recommendations that will be most useful will be a period of paid parental leave and an extension of the free pre-school year.  

“Fine Gael is prioritising job creation, because more jobs mean less tax for people already working and more revenue to provide better services. Government action to help create an accessible and affordable childcare system is vital if people are to be given the opportunity to return to the workforce.

“Access to affordable childcare, which is of a high standard, is an issue which is central to the lives of parents throughout Ireland. It is my hope that in next week’s Budget, real and meaningful steps will be taken by this Government to help reduce the cost of childcare, as well as helping to improve the quality.”

Funding approved for Slane By-Pass under €27bn Capital Investment Plan

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said that the inclusion of funding for the Slane By-Pass under today’s Capital Investment Plan is great news.

“The Capital Investment Plan will see €27 billion invested in roads, rail, health facilities, schools and broadband, which will make a major difference for communities across Meath. 

“The plan has allocated funding for work on the Slane By-Pass, as well as the Laytown to Bettystown Link Road, which will go ahead if planning permission is secured. 

“Funding for a Slane By-Pass is something that’s been sought for some time and there is a very clear need for a By-Pass. It would improve life for residents and businesses in Slane, as well as improving travel times for commuters and making the road safer. It is now very important that we continue towards securing planning permission for this key road project.

“In addition to investment in roads, the Capital Investment Plan will also see considerable investment in Garda stations and Garda resources across the country, as well as a €10 million refurbishment programme for the courts service. 

“The Plan announced by Government is affordable, sensible and it is consistent with our plan to eliminate borrowing by 2018. It will promote regional economic growth, supporting 45,000 construction jobs over the lifetime of the plan.

“The decisions taken by this Government have brought us to an important time in our recovery. We are the fastest growing economy in Europe and we are creating over 1,300 new jobs a week. This plan will help spread the recovery around the country where we know many families have yet to feel the effects of the recovery.

 “This is a good day for Meath and very welcome news for people across county.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Quality of Irish produce clear as food exports up €193m in 2015

“The latest CSO figures show that Irish food exports have increased by €193 million compared to the same time last year, indicating the quality of our produce and of the rural communities driving this growth”, says Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty.

“Between January and July in 2015 exports of food including meat, cereal and fish have all increased compared to the same period last year. This is a strong indication of the quality of the produce here in Ireland, but it is also a vote of confidence for rural communities where the majority of our food comes from.
“This Government has prioritised growing the export market through various trade missions where Irish food and food producers have been promoted across the globe. New markets like China and the US have opened up for meat producers, and Irish food has become synonymous with quality.
“There is no doubt that there is a demand out there for high quality Irish products; this is where our farmers and other food manufacturers excel.
“Fine Gael has supported the growth of food exports and a strategic ten year plan is in place to continue to connect local producers to markets around the world. While the growth we have seen so far is extremely positive and very much to be welcomed, we know that the potential is there to expand further.
“Rural Ireland is at the core of food production and is driving growth in exportation. We are very lucky to have so many vibrant and entrepreneurial people working the land, producing food and marketing products.
“I am confident that with continued support, and as rural Ireland benefits further from the economic recovery, this area of the export market can continue to grow and thrive.”