The IDA has been slammed for failing to attend a meeting of South Tipperary County Council to discuss the unemployment crisis in the area.
Councillor Bobby Fitzgerald has expressed his extreme disappointment that the IDA has not attended a meeting of the council to explain their role in addressing the South Tipperary unemployment blackspot.
Despite tabling two motions in the last twelve months calling on the IDA to attend a meeting, Councillor Fitzgerald has met with litte success.
“The IDA has ignored the request, they wrote a letter back to the Council that could have come from a ten year old. It was insulting,” said Cllr. Fitzgerald again instructed council officials to make another request to the IDA to attend a meeting.
He said that the “recent job losses in the region have confirmed that the South East is an unemployment blackspot with unemployment rates now running at 4% higher than the national average of 14.8%.”
He said this was further reflected in a recent Moody’s Report which highlighted Tipperary as having the highest rate of mortgage arrears in Munster. The level of arrears in Tipperary is currently 12.3% and by 2013 the figures of mortgages in default are expected to rise to above 20%.
“This would mean that 1 in 5 families with mortgages in South Tipperary could be in danger of losing their home.
This is further compounded by the bailed out AIB who recently hit 70,000 mortgage holders with a 0.5% rate increase, the second increase within a three month period. This latest increase would see a further cost annually of €720 to a family with a typical €200,000 mortgage,” he said.
“We need the IDA to meet its objectives of an equitable regional balance in investment as the South East has been overlooked for far too long, with the IDA not meeting its target of locating 50% of its investment outside of Dublin and Cork. This is having a real impact on the lives of families who are at their wits end and struggling to make ends meet. The recent snub by the IDA in not attending a special county council meeting to address the elected representatives reflects the existing attitude and perception that the South East region, especially South Tipperary, is the poor relation when it comes to prioritising job creation,” said Cllr.Fitzgerald.