Sinn Fein TD for Kerry Pa Daly has called for the introduction of a new rural resettlement scheme to encourage families to relocate to rural areas.
The growth in remote working provides an opportunity to attract younger families to rural Ireland and revive aging communities.
“Preparing for Ireland’s changing demographics is critical to the sustainability of rural communities,” Teachta Daly said.
Urban Population Increase
“Ireland has an increasingly urban population while the age profile of rural Ireland grows older. “Rural communities have lost local businesses, Post Offices, Garda stations, public transport and teachers.
“We have seen an enormous shift towards remote working during the pandemic and this will be helped by the rollout of the National Broadband Plan.
“People no longer need to live near their place of work which presents a significant opportunity to attract young families back to rural communities.”
Activate Government Encouragement
The Government must actively encourage those who wish to move to rural areas and it should explore the introduction of a rural resettlement scheme which would support families in relocating.
“The new scheme could help families secure low interest mortgages, match families with suitable accommodation and administer grants to incentivize relocation.
“Tax incentives for workers who relocate and a marketing campaign could be introduced to assist the scheme.
Sites to Facilitate Moving
“Local authorities should provide serviced sites to facilitate this and a grant scheme to refurbish former commercial premises in towns should also be considered.
“Increased population helps protect vital services and makes rural communities more economically viable.
“A move away from our cities for many would mean a real opportunity to find a new quality of life,” Teachta Daly concluded.
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