Brian Cowen’s failure to provide tax incentives for the €2 billion Cork Docklands development has been slammed by Cork South Central Senator Jerry Buttimer who raised the issue in the Seanad.
“Tax breaks are essential for this crucial project so Minister Cowen’s failure to act is a bitter blow for Cork. The entire community has rallied behind this development but the Fianna Fáil Government has not shown the same commitment.
“I have raised this issue on the Order of Business in the Seanad and called for a debate on regional development, with a particular emphasis on Cork. The Government is blaming EU rules concerning State tax incentives, but this is the first time this problem has been mentioned. I would like detailed clarification from the Minister.
“By leaving tax incentives for the Cork Docklands project out of the Budget, the Government proved it was only paying lip service to the development. Brian Cowen had a chance to rectify this matter through the Finance Act, but he refused.
“The Cork Docklands project is vital for the future of Cork and its ongoing growth. The redevelopment of Dublin’s Docklands has shown what can be achieved with support from the local community and the Government. Cork has every right to expect equal treatment.
“The Docklands scheme is the single most promising proposal for Cork city at this moment in time. A large stretch of the city would benefit the economy of the city and the entire region. Cork City Manager Joe Gavin has given his full backing but he needs a similar commitment from the Government.
“The Government has already broken one promise on the Cork Airport debt. The Port of Cork’s plans to move to a new location in Ringaskiddy are also in jeopardy. We cannot allow the Government to break yet another promise, particularly one that is so important for Cork.”