The government’s insistence on austerity is at odds with demands across Europe for growth and investment strategies, according to Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane.
Speaking on the Order of Business today, the Waterford senator added that the government’s refusal to invest in job creation measures was holding the country back and deepening the current recession.
“The people of Europe have made clear their opposition to austerity and demanded investment measures. We have seen the same message in elections in France, in Greece, in Rheinland-Westphalia in Germany, and elsewhere.”
“It is high time that Ireland joined that number and I believe we need a debate on job creation, which would include the views of a wide cross-section or Irish society, and indeed, European politicians, economists, trade unionists and investors.”
“Sinn Féin yesterday published its proposals for job creation. We are calling for a three-year investment package in the region of €13 billion focusing on infrastructure and new enterprises.
“This money would be sourced from the discretionary portfolio of the National Pension Reserve Fund, matching funding from the European Investment Bank and an investment from the private pension sector. This could create some 40,000 jobs per year.”
“However, we are not alone in calling for a jobs investment plan. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has proposed a €15 billion investment package and SIPTU have also proposed a major investment programme of €10 billion.”
“The unemployment situation has long since reached crisis point, with some 440,000 on the live register and with thousands more emigrating every week. “Yet the government seems content to re-heat old promises and commitments, as we saw with the action plan on jobs, which involved no new investment, and no meaningful targets.”
“Unless the government turns its back on austerity, on hitting the least well off, and taking money out of the real economy, the jobs crisis will not be solved. It needs to take heed of what is happening across Europe and produce a real jobs plan which will involve tangible investment.”