THE chairman of the Mid-West jobs task force fears its recommendations will remain ignored in the next Dail.
Deputy Michael Noonan, expected to secure a Ministry in a new Fine Gael-led coalition, has said that he would act on the task force’s recommendations if in cabinet.
The recommendations of the high-level group - which also includes former UL president Roger Downer, and regeneration architect John Fitzgerald - have remained largely untouched by the outgoing government, save for a recommendation Limerick’s local governance be looked at. And speaking to the Limerick Leader, former Kerry Group chief executive Denis Brosnan fears there could be no change.
He bases this fear after he was appointed to a committee appointed by a Fine Gael-Labour coalition in the 1980s to solve the unemployment crisis then.
“At the time, we predicted unemployment would go up to 300,000. No action was taken by the government on that, and it did,” he told the Limerick Leader.
The first report of the Jobs Task Force recommended a variety of measures to help get Limerick’s economy moving again.
These included prioritising Limerick as a location for foreign direct investment, establishing a ‘rapid response’ unit to enable the IDA to report on how it is doing to create jobs here, and prioritising the potential Lynx cargo terminal an Shannon Airport - something which could create up to 500 jobs.
Mr Brosnan confirmed the group’s final report is expected to be with the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Innovation mid-way through February.
“We have one more meeting to basically cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Then we will be putting it in by mid-February,” he said, adding the report will make reference to the recommendations made in their interim report not acted upon.
The €10m Lynx Cargo project in Shannon is expected to be looked at by the new government.