Cork, a destination of choice for leading companies – Buttimer

Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

  • Announcement of 40 new jobs shows that Cork is a destination of choice of leading companies.
  • Itron to establish Global Business Services centre at City Gate, Mahon.

Logos for Itron StatementThe decision by Itron to establish a global business services centre in Cork shows that our city is a destination of choice for successful businesses.  Cork is now the centre of a cluster of leading ICT businesses which we must leverage to entice even more companies to locate in Cork and create much needed employment.

By the end of this year Itron plans to create 40 new positions at City Gate in Mahon.  Opportunities will be available in accounting, financial control and financial administration.  These jobs will be attractive to experienced professionals and are another important step in creating opportunities for people to return to work.

This is another vote of confidence in Cork and its people which will benefit local families and communities.  This year has seen many regular job announcements for Cork.  This week alone we have had 210 new jobs being created or announced.  The reopening of the Kingsley Hotel has created 130 new positions and yesterday 40 new jobs were announced by AlienVault.  We must continue to take decisions that encourage companies to come to Cork and create new employment opportunities across all industries.

Since this Government has come to office its primary objective has been to create the economic environment to encourage job creation.  Recent CSO statistics show that for the first time since 2009 for four successive months the number of people on the live register in Cork City and County has been under 38,000.  Since it peaked in July 2010 the number of people on the live register in Cork has fallen by 20%.  The statistics and the succession of job announcements in Cork this year show that policies are having an effect.  However, we must continue to make every effort to attract new businesses and create opportunities for all those who are still looking for work.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Economic, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation, South East

Buttimer calls for Development Council to use its expertise to develop a long term plan for Cork Airport

Wednesday, 25th June 2014

  • Cork Airport Development Council should be given the remit to contribute to a long term plan for Cork Airport.
  • Speaking in the Dáil on the State Airports (Shannon Group) Bill, 2014.

 

 
The establishment of a new high level stakeholder body, the Cork Airport Development Council, is a positive move for Cork Airport.  But the expertise on this group should be harnessed to develop a comprehensive long term plan for the development and growth of the airport.

The Development Council provides a forum for senior stakeholders from a range of sectoral and geographic backgrounds who have an interest in the development of Cork Airport to engage with management at the airport and to help contribute to traffic and route growth.  That this group has representatives from organisations such as Fáilte Ireland, the Cork Chamber of Commerce and EMC among others will ensure that local views will contribute to the future development of the airport so that it meets the tourism and business needs of the region.  If this impact of this input is to be maximised then it must feed into a formalised long term plan.

The first item that this group should focus on is expanding the air connectivity available from Cork.  In looking at this a priority must be developing air links with key international hubs with flights at times that suit businesses.  We must protect and develop key routes such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich and Rome, but perhaps more importantly an air link to Dublin.

Having this range of flight options ensures that passengers using Cork Airport, for both business and tourism, can get direct flights to key international hubs which enable them to link to destinations across the globe.  Focussing on these routes will enable Cork businesses to grow and expand internationally.  This will benefit the language schools in Cork, third level colleges including UCC and CIT, the many leading international businesses that operate from Cork and all of those involved in the tourism sector.  These groups and businesses would be able to market Cork to a wider audience as a destination for business and tourism.

Regrettably the challenges facing Cork airport are compounded by the high level of debt that the airport carries.  All parties involved in Cork Airport must continue to explore ways to reduce the debt levels it is carrying.  Reducing this burden will allow the airport to reduce prices and attract airlines.  Unless the debt is reduced the ability of the Airport to reach its full potential will not be delivered.

I hope that that the Development Council will be the catalyst the will enable Cork Airport to grow so that it can reach its full potential.  And I hope that the input of people from outside of the DAA group will facilitate a detailed consideration of how to restructure the debt at Cork Airport so that it does not continue to be a heavy weight preventing the airport attaining its obvious potential.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Dáil Speeches, Development, Economic, National Work, Tourism, Transport

FF scaremongering on USC is irresponsible and wrong- Buttimer

Cork South Central Fine Gael TD and Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has today criticised the Fianna Fáil fuelled media speculation about the Universal Social Charge (USC) as irresponsible and wrong.

“I am incredulous at today’s attempts by Fianna Fáil to scaremonger on the matter of the USC exemption for older people.

“Our Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is already on the record saying that it is a priority for this Government to cut the very high rate of tax paid by families on average incomes. Any such measure would include looking again at the changes in the USC already legislated for by the previous Fianna Fail Government.

“Fianna Fáil designed the USC so that the special low rate of 4% for certain categories including older people would lapse. By comparison, we are very clear that everyone aged 70 and over will continue to benefit from the lower 4% rate of USC rate on all income below €60k.

“Fianna Fáil should stop this scaremongering. They hardly need reminding that this measure is the legacy of a deal they struck to gain support from Independent TDs before the last election. It was the current Government that took 330,000 workers out of the USC net in its first budget in October 2011. We were seeking to right the wrongs perpetrated by the previous Government and protect the vulnerable people who had been so badly affected by the economic crash.

“We will continue to do this and remain committed to our mission to restore jobs, stability and economic growth to this country. Fianna Fáil should stop scaremongering from the side-lines about a policy they introduced and designed in such a way that the special exemptions would lapse long after they had crawled away from a shambolic Government, leaving carnage in their wake.”

Posted under Economic, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation