Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the latest government reply to the levels of employment deprivation in Tipperary Town and West Tipperary as deeply disturbing. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he raised the matter during Priority Questions to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, earlier today:
“In the last ten days we have witnessed the bizarre spectacle of two government ministers demonstrating just how out of touch this government is with the reality on the ground in West Tipperary and Tipperary Town.
First we had Minister for Employment, Regina Doherty, tell us last week that Tipperary was ‘flourishing’ despite the stark levels of deprivation that continues to exist among the young unemployed within the county.
To add insult to injury we then had to listen to the Minister for Business, Heather Humphreys, tell us today that essentially the problem was of our making because there was not the kind of collaborative spirit between the people, agencies and chamber of commerce in Tipperary that there is in Limerick for example.
This is utterly patronising and completely sidesteps the fact that far from not being engaged, the people in these areas are being ignored by the government when they do try to engage.
The people on the ground, from the community workers to the business leaders know the reality. They know that what both Ministers have said is complete nonsense.
I am calling on both Ministers to step outside the scripted reality that is being presented to them by their departments and visit the areas we are talking about. That is the only way they will see the disconnect between this appalling government spin and what is really happening in terms of job creation and community renewal,” concluded Deputy McGrath.