Galway East TD Seán Canney, along with his colleagues in the Regional Independent group of TDs presented their pre-Budget submission to the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform at a meeting in Dublin on Wednesday last.
The submission provides key recommendations to help protect, support and encourage people, businesses and communities in regional towns and villages, as they restart and recover in the new COVID-19 environment.
The Regional Group of Independent TDs met with the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Michael McGrath TD and the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to present their Pre-Budget Submission 2021.
They noted that the focus is keeping people safe and stabilising our economy as much as possible during these turbulent times with Covid19 and with Brexit looming.
A constructive engagement took place with Ministers McGrath and Donohoe as Regional Group members outlined how policy responses would address the threat of a pandemic induced recession. Ministers emphasised the need to support direct services, health and housing while dealing with the combined challenges of Brexit and Covid19.
Speaking following the meeting, Deputy Canney said, ‘Budget 2021 should include regional supports to significantly enhance the overall national economic recovery effort. If the Government implements these supports it will bring life back into vacant homes, enhance local communities and encourage people to settle and live in regional areas.’
The Regional Group members demonstrated how regional areas are disproportionately impacted by this crisis and require targeted interventions for the potential opportunities that exist. Under- investment in infrastructure, particularly in digital, transport, and water infrastructure and in the higher education sphere, will leave some regions of the country significantly challenged in their ability to fully recover.