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Afloat.ie: Sail Training Axe Disappoints Marine Group

10th December 2009
Afloat.ie: Sail Training Axe Disappoints Marine Group

The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has given a cautious welcome to the budget, while expressing disappointment at the decision to axe the country's sail training scheme.

“Overall, the Irish Marine Federation welcomes the government’s commitment to restore order to the country’s finances," said  Mark McAuley, IMF director. "All industry sectors would be impacted by the long term consequences of failing to act now. The IMF welcomes the small reduction of 0.5% in VAT. However, we remain very concerned about the impact on our sector of purchasing beyond our borders. Ireland must regain price competitiveness”.

"The IMF is also very disappointed with the decision to cut the Coiste an Asgard sail training scheme in the budget, despite repeated assurances from government in the last 12 months that it would continue. To achieve a cost saving of euro 800,000, the government has failed to recognise the very significant benefits the sailing training scheme brought to this country.

“The performance of the tourism industry and the number of visitors coming to Ireland has fallen steeply in recent times. We need to focus on Ireland’s ability to attract people to the fantastic water based holiday opportunities that we have. Tourism remains one of best long-term opportunities to grow foreign earnings. The Government should recognise this and do everything possible to support it.”

“The single key priority of the Marine Federation over the past number of years has been the development of marine infrastructure around our coasts and on our inland waterways. The private sector has taken the lead here. Whilst capital expenditure cutbacks were inevitable in the current circumstances, Ireland’s wonderful coastline and waterways are a great natural resource. We need to give everyone the proper facilities so that they can go out there and enjoy them. We are asking that key projects such as the Galway Harbour development go ahead.”



Published in Budget
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