Galway TD Denis Naughten is calling for more support to be provided for people investing in peat sites in Galway and throughout the midlands.
The Independent TD is says that more tax incentives should be provided for businesses at peat sites in Clonfert and Derryfada/Ahascragh near Ballinasloe.
“While the appointment of Mr Kieran Mulvey as the Just Transition Commissioner and the work of Government is welcome, we must also encourage private sector investment in our region to create long-term sustainable jobs by supporting existing companies to expand as well as new start-up companies.”
Deputy Naughten has put forward amendments to the Finance Bill which would require the government to produce a report with options for the enhance of Employment Investment Incentive relief.
This would be meant to support businesses at Bord na Mona works at a total of 22 sites including Ballinasloe.
“This region is competing with our cities for investment and unless we have targeted support for the areas which will be hit hardest by the loss of employment because of cessation of peat harvesting, then we will always be on the wrong side of any investment decision,” Denis Naughten said.
“The purpose of these amendments is to incentivise private sector investment on the peat production sites across the midlands, which could also leverage EU funds to create long-term sustainable jobs.”
The announcement by the ESB that it is to shut down its two peat fueled power plants, Lough Ree and West Offaly will have a serious knock on effect on businesses in the region connected to them.
He said that “urgent and radical” efforts are needed to support the jobs that will be lost in businesses dependent on the spend by Bord na Mona and the ESB.
The 22 sites in Galway, Roscommon, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Laois, Kildare and Tipperary were identified after Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that the tax support needed to be more focused Deputy Naughten added.
“Enhancing the incentives for employment for the communities impacted most by the cessation of peat harvesting could provide the capital injection needed to create an alternative economy for our area”.