“This year unemployment dropped by 11.94% in Galway and 12.07% in Mayo while €20.44 million and €6.05 million went towards capital spend for schools in Galway and Mayo respectively. Furthermore, 16 and 11 completely new Garda cars were introduced in Galway and Mayo, says Seán Kyne, Fine Gael TD for Galway West and Mayo South.
“There is no doubt that 2014 has been a challenging year for the people of Galway, Mayo and the West. We have been coming out of the most difficult recession in the history of the State and this does not happen overnight. Major progress has been made however, and the same can be expected for 2015.
“More people are working in communities across Galway and Mayo and this Government is determined to continue to create jobs in all regions of the country in the coming year. Supports for SMEs are in place, work is continually underway to attract foreign direct investment and we are learning to maximise Ireland’s potential as a tourist destination.
“In 2014, 1.03 million tourist visitors – a 6% increase on 2012 figures – brought €308m in revenue to Galway while 218,000 visitors generated €60m in revenue for Mayo. In the budget we protected the lower VAT rate for the tourism sector and we have set out a target of attracting 7.74 million visitors to Ireland next year, a rise of 6% which will create 8,000 new jobs.
“Farmers in Galway received €106.6 million in funding throughout 2014 while Mayo farmers received €86.8 million in funding. Agriculture is at the centre of Irish life and is core to the Irish economy. Further growth and opportunity is expected in 2015 through the implementation of the Rural Development Programme for which we are awaiting approval from Europe and which would mean an investment of €2.5 billion. New investment schemes will be launched providing higher grant rates for young farmers, for LEADER, the Rural Transport Programme among others.
“I am hopeful that 2015 will be a good year for the people of Galway and Mayo. Local people have made great sacrifices in recent years and it is important that everyone sees and feels the benefit of an economic recovery.
“In 2015, we expect the national unemployment rate to finally fall below 10%. €10 million will also go towards putting 400 new Garda vehicles on the road and newly qualified Gardaí will come on duty across the country.
“Every worker who currently pays income tax or USC will benefit from changes made in the Budget. Positive change is underway but it is important now to secure the recovery to ensure stability into the future for the people of the West of Ireland.”