Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the official summary of funding for the LEADER programme demonstrates that Tipperary has experienced the Country’s second highest cut in allocation levels for 2015-2020. Deputy McGrath made his comments as the dramatic reduction from €25,323,166 for the 2007-2013 period to €10,103,443.00 over the next five years was confirmed:
“This level of cuts represents a staggering loss of €15,219,723 for the county.
That is a scale of funding depletion that is simply unmanageable.
We are certainly looking at job losses and huge reductions in many worthwhile rural development initiatives.
It is outrageous for Minister Kelly to make such a play out of the current ten million euro allocation and to speak of it as if it represents a golden opportunity to do more with less.
Of course funding in small rural areas can sometimes go further than funding in major urban centres as the Minister said, but that is to miss the point entirely and is clearly an attempt by him to soft pedal the harsh truth.
We know for example that it is because an area of is rural that more, not less funding is often required.
A classic example of this is the whole fiasco around rural broadband which has been put off again and again because of the supposed costs involved.
How does the Minister propose to explain that more can be done with less on that issue? When you add this funding butchery to the threats to rural transport and the transparently anti rural agenda of this Government then the broader picture becomes crystal clear.
We here in rural Ireland are once again on the receiving end of an incoherent and illogical policy that is the equivalent of death by a thousand cuts.
It is completely unacceptable and the entire funding model for LEADER now needs to be looked anew,” concluded Deputy McGrath.