Precious little is to be found in today’s budget to address the chasm that is developing between rural and regional Ireland and Dublin, according to Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD.

An Teachta Tóibín stated:

“We are now at crisis point as a nation. Ireland is divided between an over-heating and fractured capital and sprawling commuter belt extending over half the country and a western and border region that is emptying of its youth.

“The government promised to address the cost of the carbon tax on rural Ireland with mitigating investment. Other than a few tokenist measures this has not happened. Where is the big plan to address the lopsided economy that this state has become? There was no investment of critical size to develop centers of international investment outside of Dublin.

“Public transport is still grossly underfunded in both rural Ireland and urban. Transport and communications technology in rural and regional Ireland will not get a shot in the arm that it needs. Towns and villages will not have their business and services accessible on the internet as they should in order to compete. The government has M50 vision. It cannot see beyond the M50. Rather than generating vision the government has created another potential quango under the name of a ‘Just Transition Commissioner’.

“There is also real disappointment with regard to the All-Ireland Economy. In the teeth of Brexit the government should have majored on this issue. Yet the All Ireland Economy will be no further on than it was after the Good Friday Agreement. InterTradeIreland received €2million in increased funding, pittance for the leading All-Ireland enterprise body. The money taken from the Derry Dublin Motorway project has not been returned. There is no great plan for funding in this budget for integration of services or infrastructure development north or south in order to mitigate against Brexit.”