We should not be held to ransom for €60 million

We have to ask are the people of Waterford being held to ransom for €60 million? While any investment in Waterford is welcome, it cannot come with conditions attached for Waterford. Developers have committed to developing the North Quays at a cost of €200 to €300 million on the condition that the State spends €60m on infrastructure costs.
Two things need to be said. Investment developers are not charitable enterprises. They fully expect to extract every cent of their investment – plus profits. Look at the example of the US vulture fund which purchased Waterford Crystal and sold on for millions in profit some years later.
But what about the jobs that are created you might say? The majority of the long term employment we believe will be in the retail and hospitality sectors, some of the lowest paid jobs in the country. Where will they be able to afford to live with rents spiralling upwards and the population expected to increase in Waterford in the coming decades?
To me, €60 million is small change to multi national developers but it would go some way to providing affordable public housing in the city and country. These are some of the questions we need to be asking.
The haste with which our public representatives are exercising themselves to secure the €60 million is admirable.
Such haste could be used in securing the outstanding monies due for Traveller accommodation or perhaps to secure rural post offices in Waterford which is very much on the agenda of some?

Paul Kirby,
Edwards-O’Connor Waterford Branch,
Communist Party of Ireland.

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