Carthy tells Taoiseach that reductions in LEADER funding will impact rural communities
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD has challenged the Taoiseach to address falling levels of LEADER funding.
Speaking in the Dáil on a debate on the National Economic and Social Council Deputy Carthy called for recognition for the vital role the LEADER programme has played in rural development and for the €180million allocation to the programme over the next CAP cycle to be increased to €300million.
“A report from earlier this year from the NESC highlighted the LEADER programme as a crucial programme for addressing and developing the rural economy. In fact, in the Taoiseach’s remarks yesterday, he made a similar point and he was right.
“The difficulty, though, is that the LEADER programme has been hollowed out in recent years.
“In the 2007 to 2013 programme, the allocation to LEADER represented €60 million per year.
“Between 2014 and 2020, it was nearly halved to €35 million per year.
“The proposed funding for the next round will see, in real terms, a reduction of somewhere between 6% and 10%.
“Does the Taoiseach acknowledge and accept that the LEADER programme is crucially important for regional and rural development? There is not a community that has failed to benefit from it in recent decades.
“The €180 million that has been allocated to the programme needs to be €300 million in order for LEADER projects to deliver the type of investment that those communities need. I ask the Taoiseach to ensure that that money is provided to the programme”.