[Sinn Fein]

28 November 2001

McCreevey Should Study IBEC Technology Report Before Budget - Wood

``Charlie McCreevey and his government colleagues should study the latest IBEC report - `` A strategic vision for the ICT sector in Ireland 2002-2005'' before finalising this years budget. He would then see why we want to see infrastructural improvements in the West in order to achieve a level playing field for businesses here.''

Sinn Fein Election candidate Vincent Wood was commenting on the publication of the IBEC report on the Information and Communications industry.

``A key aspect of the 7 point plan outlined by IBEC is the need for adequate provision of broadband and other infrastructure. We know only too well here in the west of Ireland that we are way behind other parts of the country in this regard.

``If we could secure sufficient capital investment in our major roads in and out of the county, a commitment to accelerate broadband provision and support for the development of Knock Airport as a centre for the type of Air Freight services required by high-tech companies, then we could be in a position to capitalise on any upturn in the IT sector. This means more than maintaining spending on the National Development Plan. It means going beyond it.

``I would urge Charlie McCreevey to retreat from any suggestion of cutting back on the National Development Plan in this years budget. Quite the opposite. He should give every assistance west of the Shannon to companies and individuals who want to develop high-tech and other industry.''

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