€75M + 1,000 jobs in ‘shovel-ready’ transport projects - Varadkar

Minister also announces three-pronged plan to boost tourism industry including multi-million incentive fund
 
A €75 million boost for transport projects to create at least 1,000 new jobs has been announced today (Tuesday) by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative.
 
Minister Varadkar also confirmed a three-pronged tourism plan to create further jobs. This will abolish the travel tax if airlines commit to deliver more tourists to Ireland, rebate substantial levels of charges to airlines by Dublin Airport Authority in return for additional passengers brought into Ireland, and set up a joint marketing initiative between Tourism Ireland, the DAA and the airlines. He also confirmed a major breakthrough in the visa regime to make it easier for tourists from emerging economies to visit Ireland.
 
Minister Varadkar said: ‘I am re-allocating €75 million into ‘shovel-ready’ transport projects to start this year, while providing a major boost to the jobs-intensive tourism industry. This new funding will create at least 1,000 entirely new jobs in a range of projects, and will repair the damage inflicted on 650km of our roads in two very severe winters. In addition to that substantial investment, I’m also very happy to confirm that the DAA, through an enhanced growth incentive scheme for airlines operating at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports, is contributing substantial discounts over the next three years to encourage the airlines to deliver more tourists to Ireland. This will create further spin-off jobs’.
 
Minister of State for Transport Alan Kelly said: ‘I can confirm that some €15 million will go straight into labour-intensive traffic management and smarter travel projects. This will create safer road junctions, better footpaths and improved bus networks and support new cycle schemes. The job creation process will start immediately and will bring in the region of 150 jobs specifically in the smarter travel field. This is about the Government lending a hand to the local economy. It is not a full solution, but represents a small starting step towards recovery. It will generate a little more confidence in the Irish high street and demonstrate where this Government’s priorities lie’.
 
Transport Initiatives
·         €75 million re-allocated for transport projects:
o   €60 million to maintain and repair regional and local roads across Ireland damaged in last two severe winters;
o   €15 million for traffic management & improvements to rail stations, pedestrian crossings, footpaths, bus networks, and cycle ways.
(Funding being re-allocated from projects which would not have created jobs this year)
 
Tourism Initiatives
·         Three-pronged plan to promote tourism including abolishing the travel tax, significant rebates of passenger charges for extra passengers brought in by airlines, and more targeted co-operative marketing of new routes from key source tourism markets by Tourism Ireland, DAA and the airlines to encourage more tourists to fly into Ireland;
·         Work placements and internships in the tourism industry;
·         Halving of employers’ PRSI;
·         Cutting VAT on the cost of many services.
 
Minister Varadkar also welcomed the progress on a tourist visa waiver to make it easier for tourists from emerging economies to visit Ireland: ‘This imaginative measure will encourage tourists visiting the UK to be able to visit Ireland for three days without the cost or hassle of applying for a separate Irish visa’.
 
Ends
 
Further information:
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Press Office; (01) 604 1076 /
(01) 604 1090
Nick Miller 086 6992080
 
Initial Publication Date: 
10/05/2011