Peadar Tóibín TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has cautiously welcomed the decrease in the numbers on the Live Register while warning that an unemployment figure of 11.9% is still a crisis and demands urgent action.
Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said:
“In these difficult times all job creation is to be welcomed. However the manner in which this government is proceeding lacks the necessary urgency to deal with the unemployment and emigration crisis. 11.9% unemployment is a crisis and it demands urgent action.
“These figures hide the personal damage that has been done to over half a million people by this government’s inertia. If it were not for the plethora of dubious new schemes and record emigration the unemployment rate in this state would be almost 20%.
“A quarter of a million Irish people, most against their will, have been uprooted from their friends and families to uncertain futures abroad. The energy and initiative of many communities across the length and breadth of this state has been wiped out.
“Serious structural damage has been done to the labour market. Last year 42 per cent of those of working age in Ireland were not in employment. The proportion of those aged 20-24 not in employment, education or further training is more than a quarter in Ireland, higher than Greece, and over twice the level of most OECD countries.
“Almost half of those aged under 25 are already unemployed for more than 12 months. Many of the jobs created are part time jobs and there is a continuing increase in underemployment. There is little regional balance with much of the increase in a limited geographical area in the east.
“Indigenous enterprise has still not experienced the necessary reforms with regards to credit provision, cost of doing business, and progressive rates. Three years on the much heralded Strategic Investment Bank is still in limbo and promises to insulate a million homes have been moth balled.
“The country cannot afford continuing government inertia when it comes to job creation.”