Breathnach raises issue of accommodation for local workers in Dáil
Louth TD Declan Breathnach has called on the government to concentrate on providing additional housing in the area to accommodate a growing workforce in Dundalk.
There have been a number of positive announcements on the local job front in recent months, including 400 new posts announced by Chinese firm WuXi Biologics who are investing €325 million in the construction of a new biologics plant at Mullagharlin (pictured above).
Speaking at the recent Budgetary Oversight Committee attended by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Deputy Breathnach said it was great to see so many jobs coming to the area but he said it was no becoming an issue for local employers to find accommodation for workers.
The Fianna Fáil TD said: “With regard to the labour force, one of my concerns is the issue of full employment. Today a businessman contacted me about bringing 20 labourers from England onto a building site. He was having difficulty securing accommodation and temporary PPS numbers for them. To what extent are we planning for that? Clearly if there is going to be immigration as a result of creating jobs in this country we have to fast-track them.
“I will conclude on the housing issue. It is great to see the economy growing in various sectors. For example, there have been major factory announcements in my region. However, how will people find a place to live? What planning are we doing for that regional development?
“There were three announcements of new factories for Dundalk, and I am sorry to be parochial about this. This was massive news, as massive employment will come to the area but no housing. What planning are we doing to ensure we do not end up on a slippery slope on which people will say they can create opportunities in Ireland but cannot create places to live for those who would be critical to those factories?”
The Knockbridge man also questioned what was being done to cater for an ageing population. “We know from the CSO that our population will grow. The projected increase is in excess of 60% for the cohort aged over 65 years. To what degree is the Department planning for that ageing population and ensuring they have the services they require?,” he said.