Speaking at the debate on proposed new arrangements for on the payment of sick pay, Peadar Tóibín TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on jobs, enterprise and innovation said:
“At the time of the greatest jobs crisis in generations, the Fine Gael and Labour government is bringing forward proposals that will costs jobs and erode the conditions of workers.
“We are told that the priority for the government is jobs. The Minister for Social Protection must have missed that memo.
“While we have a jobs minister trumpeting the strategy of reducing costs to business and reducing PRSI contributions for small and medium-sized industries, the Minister for Social Protection is planning to shift the burden of €89 million from her budget and onto the enterprise sector.
“The primary pressure on PRSI is burgeoning unemployment. Extension of the cost of sick pay onto business will add to burgeoning unemployment.
“We have proposed an amendment that would contribute to the PRSI fund without harming job creation or the business viability.
“It is clear that any remnant government unity is evaporating and the economy is paying the cost.
“Government policy and the absence of a comprehensive and co-ordinated job creation strategy have led to the loss of 33,000 jobs in the economy, increasing emigration and increasing long term unemployment.
“We need to end the rhetoric. We need job creation to be the key priority for the government. We need a comprehensive job and growth strategy that is implemented across all government departments without Minister going on solo runs.”