Responding to the publication of the latest Quarterly Household Survey and the annual emigration figures Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the figures demonstrate the failure of government policy.
Deputy Doherty said;
“Today figures demonstrate the failure of government policy. Since 2011 over 266,000 people have emigrated. In the past year alone 89,000 emigrated an increase from the 87,000 who left previous year.
“This level of emigration exceeds the previous crisis of the 80’s. The government claims this is a life style choice but families and communities across Ireland, and those forced to leave, know that emigration is not a choice but an economic necessity.
“Despite 89,000 people leaving last year, unemployment only fell by 23,000, a 1% decrease in the unemployment rate. It is clear that the policy of Fine Gael and Labour is failing our people and failing the economy.
“The government is again relying on emigration to mask their economic failures. The work and skills of those forced to emigrate are being reaped in the economies of Britain, Australia, Canada and the USA.
“The government needs to recognise the failure of its economic policy and its failure to meet even its own employment targets. We need a new policy that aims to stimulate economic growth and deliver jobs.
“Next month’s budget offers the opportunity to take a different course, one that prioritises the creation of jobs over cutbacks and austerity.
“Sinn Féin will be offering the government an alternative budget which will offer young people the opportunity to remain in Ireland and use their skills to help rebuild Ireland’s economy.”