Regional and rural

What has changed?

  • The Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht is now the Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts & the Gaeltacht. Heather Humphreys, TD (FG) remains as Minister.
  • There is a commitment to reach full employment, with 68% of new jobs created outside of Dublin.

 Positives for Business

  • Ibec welcomes the creation of export led jobs outside of Dublin with €500m in funding for EI, Udaras Na Gaeltachta and the IDA.
  • Initiatives to revitalise rural Ireland with New Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
  • Ibec welcomes the maintenance of three year tax relief for certain start-ups until the end of 2018.
  • Maintaining the 9% VAT rate for Tourism is a positive move for the regions.
  • Investing €100 million capital in the Wild Atlantic Way and Greenway.
  • Development of an Atlantic Economic Corridor is a needed initiative for the West.
  • Consideration will be given to directly elected mayors in cities which will help co-ordinate and drive policies to make our cities more liveable.
  • Implementation of the Valuation (Amendment) Act 2015 should speed up revaluation process for commercial rates.

 Outstanding issues and missed opportunities

  • Completion of the motorway network.
  • The Atlantic Economic Corridor must be backed by funding and infrastructure development and should ensure complementary growth between Dublin and cities such as Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway in terms of size, infrastructure, population and other resources.
  • Programme says Government will look into reducing the size of electoral areas but this will increase costs and complicate the commercial rates system further.

Contact Fergal O'Brien, Director of policy at
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