Responding to the latest live register figures published yesterday, Sinn Féin group leader in the Seanad Senator David Cullinane stated that there is an urgent need for a debate on the matter of unemployment and that the growth in the figures represented a ‘national emergency’.
Speaking in the Seanad Senator Cullinane called for a full debate on unemployment and the need for a comprehensive job creation plan.
Senator Cullinane said:
“Specifically, I want to ask the leader for a debate on the massive unemployment in this state which surely is a national emergency.
“We need to focus on proper job creation proposals, dealing with youth unemployment, underemployment, self-employment, and those who do not qualify for social welfare payments who are not accounted in the live register figures.
“We also need to deal with the burning issue of emigration and the 100,000 people who have already left the country.'
“The release of the latest live register figures saw a rise of 2,600 workers bringing the amount of people on the live register up to 443,000, and the rate up to 14.8%.
“The release of the latest live register figures highlight in very stark terms the inadequacy of this government’s response to the unemployment crisis. It’s rather unsatisfactory that the figures corresponding to the month of the much heralded ‘jobs initiative’ shows that the government needs to consider a more thorough and concerted jobs initiative.
“The politics of austerity isn’t working, investment in jobs is the only way we can kick-start the economy.’
“We in Sinn Féin have brought forward a number of proposals to reduce the unemployment crisis, which the government would do well to consider, including using €2 from the National Pension Reserve fund to fast track labour intensive infrastructure projects, such as school and hospital building programmes, and developing transport and broadband infrastructure.
“We would also argue for a €500 million family stimulus package, funded through additional tax revenue, which is aimed at reversing some of the difficulties placed on families by social welfare cuts, and to kick start consumer spending.”.