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Ireland to implement the idea that development should start from the village! Government with offers including tax breaks and grants

DUBLIN: Ireland is also aiming to implement ‘Gandhian concept’ that development should begin from the village! The Irish government is offering huge incentives, including tax breaks and grants, to move businesses, industries and IT hubs from the cities to the countryside. The government’s five – year plan was launched in Ireland yesterday.

The Our Rural Future Plan was inaugurated by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Social Protection and Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys and various TDs were also present. The Taoiseach said there is no need for segregation of city and village. Leo Varadkar opined that the COVID-19 pandemic “has restored our appreciation of space and of rural places”.

About 150 projects have been included in the government’s Our Rural Future plan. The target is to implement these by 2021-2025. Many of these projects are aimed at increasing the number of people living in rural areas by promoting remote employment. This will include plans to increase the employment of public sector workers from rural areas.

Vacant properties will be reused

Plans for rural development include plans to turn vacant properties into remote work centers and to use pubs as community spaces. New financial assistance will also be made available in the 2022 budget to encourage people to do this. Restrictions on converting some vacant commercial spaces for residential purposes will be simplified. Planning changes will be implemented for this purpose.

There are also plans to implement “co-working and hot-desking hubs” as a pilot project for employees in several rural towns. The government is targeting a 20% increase in work-from-home and remote work in the public sector this year. The government also wants to increase it within five years. Plans are afoot to expand the network of more than 400 remote work facilities across the country in a bid to increase remote work.

National Broadband Scheme will be accelerated

The project proposals are a continuation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP). The project also suggests new strategies to accelerate the rapid delivery of connectivity to rural areas through the NBP.

The project says the facility will help retain experts in rural areas as well as attract “mobile talent” to rural areas. The scheme also requires local authorities to provide financial assistance to remote workers. The plan also looks at whether special benefits will motivate remote workers to move to rural towns.

This will allow employees to live and work in rural areas wherever the employer is headquartered. The government will bring in legislation to give employees the right to request remote working. The government has already made this clear. In addition, tax breaks for remote working for employers and employees will be considered.

Other project proposals at a glance-

Provide seed capital to local authorities to provide low-cost service sites in towns and villages.

Additional services will be ensured through the post office network.

A pilot scheme will be developed to use rural pubs as community spaces and hubs for local services.

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme will be expanded to include the use of empty buildings and sites as multi-purpose spaces as well as the development of them for residential occupancy.

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