Adjournment Debate 18th Nov 2008
The Cork region requires an economic stimulus and a programme of promotion by Government. Unemployment, as the Minister of State will be aware, has affected both the northside and southside of Cork city. Hormann Electronics, Tyco Sensormatic, Bourne Electronics and a host of other electronics companies have gone to the wall, not to mention the small building construction companies and ancillary service companies.This needs clear Government action in a number of spheres, most importantly, on the development of the airport, on the provision of a car ferry and on the docklands. The docklands project is a major vehicle by which we can promote and encourage employment in Cork and which requires support for the eastern gateway bridge and other related activities. We also need support for the pharmaceutical industry which is the largest supplier in the Cork region.
I call for urgent action to stop the rising tide of unemployment in Cork. I refer to Cork because Cork is the capital of Ireland in my mind. It is the most important area, the primary area of the southern region. We need to help small and medium enterprises. The cost of doing business has risen exponentially. I hope we will encourage local authorities to keep down rates in the forthcoming budget and that we will not use local authority budgets to penalise small enterprises which are struggling. We need to tackle the issue of competitiveness and the cost of doing business in the Cork area. We must encourage people to employ and attract them to Cork. This can be done through the airport, the docklands and the ferry.