Tuesday 23 January 2018

Great places to live and work will attract foreign investment, says Bruton

Richard Bruton
Richard Bruton

Fionnan Sheahan Group Political Editor

JOBS Minister Richard Bruton has warned a shortage of supply of quality housing has the potential to damage the country's ability to attract foreign investment.

Mr Bruton said providing "great places to live and work" is crucial if the country wants to build on current levels of job creation.

The minister has published a plan aimed at creating an extra 7,000 jobs from foreign companies every year up to 2020.

He said the 12.5pc corporation tax rate remains the "bedrock" of Ireland's policy of attracting foreign investment.

But the minister said the country's entire offering to foreign companies is important, including housing, transport and schools.

"It would be foolhardy to imagine the IDA moves the location strategy of companies around like pawns on a board. We create the regional environments that are magnets for those. And I think that requires a cross-government response, which includes housing, schools, transport, cycle lanes, you know, all of that, if you like, environment that makes a country attractive.

"The success of the capital city, the success of a regional location in building a cluster around whatever sector it is. You have to have the complete environment. Yes, you have to have the R&D, you have to have the skills, but you also have to have the living environment. You have to have the schools, you have to have the houses," he said.

But Fianna Fail said the Government's foreign investment policy "lacks ambition and specifics".

The party's jobs spokesman Dara Calleary said the document outlines no clear plan as to how the Coalition intends to entice companies to the regions.

"The plan unveiled by Minister Richard Bruton is extremely disappointing. It's completely lacking in ambition, setting targets which have already been met over the past few years. It aims to create over 7,000 additional jobs a year between now and 2020, a target which was achieved by the IDA alone last year. Why is the minister not demanding more of his department and jobs agencies?

"He should be aiming for significantly higher jobs targets, rather than settling for something which is more than achievable," he said.

Irish Independent

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