Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane has said that Minister Heather Humphreys has serious questions to answer around funding allocations for rural investment.
Deputy Kerrane’s comments follow reports that 18% of additional Local Improvement Scheme funding has been allocated to Minister Humphrey’s own constituency of Cavan-Monaghan.
Speaking today, the Sinn Féin TD said that the government has an obligation to be open and transparent about public money.
“The Minister must come forward and explain why these allocations were made and what criteria the decisions were based on,” she said.
“Funding allocations must be fair and evidence-based. For people to have confidence in these processes, there must be no doubts that the constituency ties of the Minister running the Department could influence funding allocations.”
Deputy Kerrane said that many people living in rural Ireland will be very concerned by these figures.
“For far too long, our rural communities have been failed by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments who have turned their backs on them and not delivered the funding and infrastructure they need. This frustration is deep and growing.”
She said that this is felt particularly strongly in the West and North West which has been downgraded by the EU Commission to a ‘region in transition’ rather than a ‘developed region’ due in part to receiving the lowest level of regional and local roads spend.
“This entire region needs significant investment not just two counties,” added the Roscommon-Galway TD.