asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the number of inquiries received by the IDA during the past 12 months from firms interested in setting up industries in the Tallaght area, County Dublin.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Tallaght (Dublin) Industries.
The Industrial Development Authority have informed me that they received two inquiries over the past 12 months from firms interested in setting up industries in Tallaght. One of these firms has decided to establish an industry in Tallaght and details of this are expected to be announced at an early date.
Would the Minister indicate what is the policy of the IDA in respect of the establishment of industry in the Dublin area as against the rest of the country?
They are actively promoting the Dublin area now. It has not been the position for a number of years. It was thought that Dublin could float itself but now the IDA are actively promoting industries for the Dublin area.
It has come to a sorry pass if that has happened.
Question No. 22.
Does this mean there is enough employment in the country areas?
Then why the emphasis on the Dublin area?
There is no emphasis on it. It had not been promoted for a number of years. Now it is being included with the other areas and is being promoted just as actively as the other areas.
Does the Minister not agree that this will affect the other areas which may be less attractive than Dublin?
Surely the Minister must admit that that is a fact? If Dublin is being actively promoted it must have an adverse affect on the rest of the country.
As the Deputy knows, industrialists, by and large, go to areas of their own choice. It may be that because of the incentives offered by the IDA they can be moved from, say, an area like Dublin to an area like Cashel, but it may also be that if they do not get incentives to come to the Dublin area they will not come to this country at all, that they are just not interested in going outside the Dublin area and that they only come to this country on condition that they will get incentives. The incentives that have been available outside Dublin are now available to industries coming to the Dublin region.
There were cases of firms who were coming in on that basis and had their bluff called. Apparently this is not being done now.
Yes, but I think there were some also that just did not come.
Does the Minister consider it proper that one out of every four new jobs now being provided in this country is in the Dublin area?
I am not sure that that figure is correct. I just do not know. I suppose one could say that the population of Dublin is roughly one quarter of the population of the whole country.
Surely there are factors other than population?
Question No. 22.
May I ask a supplementary question?
Question No. 22.
asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the number and types of industries that have closed down in the Tallaght area, County Dublin during the past twelve months.
I have been informed by the Industrial Development Authority that they are aware of three manufacturing firms in Tallaght which closed over the past 12 months. The types of industry in which the three firms were engaged were pharmaceuticals, cigarettes and engineering.
I think Deputy Callanan had a question. Perhaps it would be relevant now. May I ask an overall question? Is the IDA policy now topsy-turvey? Is there no consistency about the policy of the IDA? Does it depend on Government whims or Government inefficiency as the case may be?
I could not agree at all. I have explained fully what the IDA policy is at the moment. Obviously, these are special times that need special measures.
Is the Minister aware that the vast majority of the people in the west of Ireland are living on social welfare at the moment? Are we all to move to Dublin and say goodbye to the west of Ireland? Surely, it should be the policy of the Government to put any industries that come into the country outside of Dublin?
We must not get away from the subject matter of the question.
I would certainly not agree with the Deputy that the vast majority of the people in the west of Ireland are living on social welfare. I am sure that is untrue. It is certainly the policy of the Government to encourage as many industries as possible to go to the west of Ireland. I have not got the figures here but they have been very successful in that in the last couple of years. That does not mean that the people in Dublin are not entitled to work as well as the people in the west of Ireland.
You are bringing everybody into Dublin.
That is total misrepresentation of what I said and the Deputy knows it.
Could I ask the Minister to indicate the number of jobs that have been lost in the Tallaght area arising from the closures of these three firms?
The number is 174.
Could the Minister say whether or not alternative employment has been offered to any of those people who have been unemployed?
I could not say but I did say in answer to a previous question just a second ago that there was one industry going to the Tallaght area now and that there is another industry that started production from February, 1975 and that this company has potential employment for 500 of whom 270 will be men and has already employed 100 people.
Would the Minister agree that this reference to what the IDA is doing for Dublin is not reflecting the true position at all, that the net position in Dublin is that unemployment is worse than ever it was and that we are only codding people by telling them that jobs are being created for them, that the position here is as bad as it is anywhere else?
Far be it from me to come between Deputy Tunney and Deputy Callanan in this regard. I accept what Deputy Tunney says that, of course, if people are unemployed it does not matter whether it is in the west of Ireland or in Dublin or anywhere else——
I am not saying that.
——then the Government have a duty to make every effort.
Would the Minister accept that the point I am making is that it is only pretence to say that the IDA are doing something special for Dublin? Their efforts and the efforts of the Government in respect of unemployment are as useless in Dublin as they are elsewhere.
That is absolute nonsense.
That is what is happening.
Excuse me, that is nonsense. I have just quoted an example of a factory that started in Tallaght in the last six months and of another one that will be starting there with a potential employment of 178 and that is expected to start production in 1976.