16 November 2011

Minister Addresses Annual Clondalkin Chamber of Commerce Lunch

Minister Frances Fitzgerald was guest speaker at the annual Clondalkin Chamber of Commerce Luncheon which attracted over one hundred local business people to the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel.
Minister Fitzgerald thanked the local business community for the role they play in the economy and went on to detail the recent successes of South Dublin County Council on the jobs and investment front and measures her government is introducing to support businesses and help get the economy back on track.

“IDA Ireland and South Dublin County Council have been successful in attracting new investment to Ireland and here to Clondalkin. In recent weeks we have had major announcements from both Pfizer and Google. Pfizer is to invest €145m at its Grange Castle site in Clondalkin in Dublin with up to 400 construction jobs to be created during the peak construction period. Google will open a new data centre in Grange Castle which will permanently employ 30 technical staff with the construction phase will provide around 200 jobs. That’s a cumulative €220m investment for Clondalkin, creating jobs, employing many local workers and pumping money in to the local economy.” said Fitzgerald during her address to the Chamber.

“The Jobs Initiative, announced shortly after we took office, cut the VAT rate for many services in the hospitality, consumer and tourism sectors. It halved employers' PRSI for low-paid workers and introduced a new loan scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises, this has had major benefits for local businesses,” continued Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald also went on to commend local Councillors whom last month voted to suspend development levies for Metro West.

“These levies represented an unfair burden on many local businesses who wished to expand their operations and premises. The issue of levies and rates, I know, is a contentious one. For far too long businesses have had to carry the burden for local authority financing. But I would hope that one result of the government decision to introduce an annual household charge will be allow local authorities more flexibility in budgetary planning and the share the load when it comes to funding local services,” continued Fitzgerald.

“Ireland is the world leader of pharmaceutical exports, the second largest exporter of IT services in the world, the fifth largest exporter of beef in the world and 50% of the world’s leading finical services companies are based here, and this is all in spite of the current recession. We must not forget that we are already doing so much, but we must also continue to do more," concluded Fitzgerald.