Fine Gael Enterprise Spokesman Dr Leo Varadkar TD has welcomed Dublin Chamber of Commerce’s proposals to transform Dublin into a ‘knowledge city region’ by 2012 and pledged Party support for many of its recommendations.
Deputy Varadkar said the report on ‘Developing a Knowledge City Region’ is an important reminder of the scale of the task facing Ireland after years of Government inaction. He will represent Fine Gael at the Chamber of Commerce seminar to be held in the Digital Hub on Wednesday morning.
“Fine Gael shares the vision of the Dublin Chamber Commerce. Dublin is already a successful economic city region, but to survive and prosper in a rapidly changing global economy the city must always stay ahead of the curve. So Fine Gael fully supports proposals to transform Dublin into a knowledge city for the 21st century.
“Over the past few years, the booming property market has made the Fianna Fáil Government complacent about the economy, and Fianna Fáil has failed to take advantage of Budget surpluses to develop the Irish economy. Bad policy and a lack of direction and leadership from Government means Ireland has fallen behind other countries in terms of competitiveness, infrastructure, innovation, research & development, maths and science in school, fourth level education and even broadband speeds. Dublin has suffered as a result. Cities like Helsinki, Copenhagen and Singapore are already light years ahead while many others are set to overtake us.
“Fianna Fáil only talks about meeting European averages, but Fine Gael’s policy is to make Dublin and Ireland world leaders in the new economy. Fine Gael’s policies are echoed in many of Dublin Chamber’s proposals, and this month my colleague Deputy Brian Hayes has shown how Fine Gael would reorganise science and IT facilities to foster science in schools.
“Fine Gael has long supported the policy of providing additional funding for R&D in small & medium enterprises, and increasing support for third & fourth level institutions. Fine Gael Spokesman Simon Coveney is setting out his comprehensive policy to roll out next generation fibreoptic networks in Ireland.
“Fine Gael is working hard to tackle the challenges facing the Irish economy by developing innovative and dynamic policies unlike the same old tired plans trotted out by this Government.”