Wednesday, August 28, 2013

AN urgent meeting has been sought with the Taoiseach by Deputy John Halligan, to discuss the city’s retail and unemployment crisis.
The independent TD for Waterford has written to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to seek a meeting with him and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, ahead of the new Dáil term.
Deputy Halligan has labelled the South East Employment Action Plan as ineffective and told the Waterford News & Star that austerity was severely affecting spending power.
“Kelly’s on the Quay, Benetton, Monsoon and so many other long-established city centre retail units closed because not enough people were shopping in them. At 15.2%, Waterford’s commercial vacancy rate is well above the national average and this situation is going to continue as long as Waterford’s unemployment rate remains so high.
“The Government’s South East Employment Action Plan has clearly had no impact on Waterford’s desperate unemployment problem since it was initiated. The IDA has organised 12 visits to Waterford to date this year and a total of 26 last year. Yet not a single job has arisen from these visits and the IDA continues to fail abysmally in attracting new inward investment to Waterford. It is over a decade since the last major foreign multinational came to Waterford.
“There is no quick fix to this crisis but it is only through working together and thinking innovatively that we will see the change Waterford so desperately needs,” he added.

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