€6m Just Transition Fund For The Midlands In Budget 2020

Photo credit: Gov.ie

The investment will support 400 environmentally sustainable jobs with 100 more positions through peatlands rehabilitation.

The Minister of Finance is dedicating over €30 million in Budget 2020 to offset the decline of Bord na Móna here in the midlands. 

The investment promises to support 400 environmentally sustainable jobs, with a further 100 through peatlands rehabilitation - which has a fund of €5 million. 

The Minister for Environment Richard Bruton will appoint a Just Transition Commissioner, who will engage with relevant stakeholders in the midlands, including Bord na Móna and the relevant union. This body will report directly to Minister Bruton and his Department.

Meanwhile, €6 million is being allocated through a just transition fund. 

Paschal Donohue says there will be another €20 million  for a new energy efficiency scheme for the region:

The Minister is also introducing an increase to petrol and diesel from midnight.

There will be no increase in the old age pension however there will be a €2 increase for the fuel allowance and prescription charges are to be reduced by 50 cent. 

The help to buy scheme in housing is being retained until 2021 and  a review on decentralisation will be carried out to enhance regional development.

Offaly Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen's says it's a Brexit budget and sustainability is essential for the country: 

Deputy Cowen took aim at the government's plans, and Minister Shane Ross in particular:

Meanwhile, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation and Offaly's Tom Parlon is relieved the Help To Buy scheme has been renewed:

Paschal Donohoe also announced a €1.2 billion budget package to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. 

It includes funding to protect businesses, agriculture and tourism, the Minister Paschal Donohoe revealed the measures this afternoon:

There will be a carbon tax increase so petrol and diesel costs will go up at midnight but home heating fuels will have the tax increase delayed until next May.

Minister Donohue also annonced environmental taxes including a charge on new cars.

There will be an extension of the help to buy scheme but little for renters but no big tax cuts.

The budget for health will also be increased with  with more home help hours.

And there's an increase of 50 cent tax on a pack of cigarettes. 

But no mention by Paschal Donohoe of a rise in the minimum wage which had been expected.

Livelihoods of workers in the Midlands are now dependent on the success of the just transition fund announced in the Budget today. 

Fianna Fáil Offaly TD Barry Cowen also says an independent chair needs to be appointed to ensure the money will be utilised correctly in the region. 
Finance Minister Paschal Donohue's investment promises to support 400 environmentally sustainable jobs, with a further 100 through peatlands rehabilitation.

Deputy Cowen believes government risks alienating a generation of workers in the midlands:

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