HAI President, Patrick Kelly, welcomed the Minister’s specific responsiblity to implement the CEDRA Report, which he says has over 30 recommendations that would energise the social and economic life of rural Ireland.
“A number of the recommendations in the study could be implemented immediately without any significant cost to the State. For example, Recommendation 8 which calls on State agencies to strengthen their collaboration to bring small and niche FDI to rural areas,” said Mr Kelly.
“All indications continue to suggest that the market remains most challenging for firms in rural Ireland and any uptake in business is focussed primarily in the Dublin/Leinster region. The Minister’s first priority must be to address this disparity,” he said.
In the building/construction/hardware sector, measures such as the Home Renovation Tax incentive scheme are working to generate activity but HAI members’ experience suggests that the bulk of the work registered is focused so far on the greater Dublin area. “We believe that this scheme has increased employment levels among builders and helped maintain employment in the hardware sector but the scheme now needs to be extended to allow time for it to be made more widely known in more rural areas,” said Mr Kelly.
“Allied to the need to energise rural economic conditions is the need to stimulate consumer spending with the inevitable benefit of increasing employment,” he added.
Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) is the national representative body for Hardware, Builders’ merchants, DIY, Homewares, Garden and Agricultural suppliers, at retail, wholesale and manufacturing level. The HAI currently represents an industry employing over 20,000 people throughout the country, monitoring the interests of single outlet independent as well as larger national retailers.
Contact: Jim Copeland , Hardware Association Ireland , (01) 2980969 or (087) 6671361 .