Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has called on the Minister for Jobs to secure investment in Marlinstown IDA Park as figures show that unemployment figures for the region continue to exceed the national average. In a reply to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Troy the Minister confirmed that unemployment figures for quarter 1 of 2017 stood at 7.8% compared to the national average of 6.7%. While the figures show a reduction in the live register figures within the region Deputy Troy believes that not enough action is being taken to encourage investment in Mullingar. “The figures released to me by the Minister show that Mullingar is in urgent need of a targeted investment strategy by the Government and the IDA. Since the closure of the tobacco factory there has been no major employment announcement for the area and over the life-time of this, and the previous Government no additional tenants have been secured for the IDA Park in Marlinstown. As congestion in Dublin continues to grow the Government have not shown any willingness to encourage investment outside of our major cities and provide solid employment platforms within the regions.” In reply to Deputy Troy’s question Minister Fitzgerald highlights the Midlands Action Plan for Jobs which targets the creation of a further 14,000 jobs by 2020. “The promise of a further 14,000 jobs within the region is to be welcomed but I have not seen any signs that a large portion of these jobs can be delivered to Mullingar. This Government seems quite adept at moving targets, we only have to look at the National Broadband situation where the targets seem to be pushed out on an annual basis. If Minister Fitzgerald is serious about bringing investment to Mullingar I would like to see her working with the IDA to bring companies who want to locate in Ireland down to the town and show them the huge positives on offer within the area”. Mullingar needs a major employer and the Government are not doing enough to encourage this at present”.