Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson, Conor Murphy MP,
MLA (Newry/Armagh) calling for a new focus on job creation said:
“It is now common currency among commentators,
analysts and many leading world economists, that the austerity measures being
implemented by governments cannot adequately address the economic crisis in
which we find ourselves.
“Even a cursory examination of the economic
policies being followed by the British and Irish governments which directly
impact on the lives of every citizen on this island will show that the only
sector that is expanding rapidly is the unemployed.
“The unemployment register, North and South is
increasing on a daily basis as a direct result of government policies. Of
course the unemployment register does not reflect the full extent of job
losses. It does not include the thousands who choose to emigrate - taking with
them their knowledge, skills and experience.
“Whilst it is recognised that governmental waste
and duplication must be eliminated, the unmanaged and ill-informed slashing of
spending on public services, motivated simply by budgetary requirements makes
no contribution to economic recovery.
“While an individual Minister may be able to
claim a reduction in departmental spending, it must also be recognised that if
the action taken results in further unemployment then in real terms how much
was actually saved?Every person signing
on the unemployment register is one more who is dependent on Social Benefits
and can no longer contribute to the Exchequer by way of income taxes.
Unemployment also reduces spending power in the local economy and puts the job
security of others at risk because spending on goods and services suffer.
“Unemployment is not working! It is time for a
realistic jobs strategy that will focus on securing
existing and creating new jobs particularly in the SME sector by offering
incentives through tax credits, up skilling and retraining grants to encourage
employers to take initiatives to reduce the local unemployment register. Much
of the investment in this strategy could be achieved through a rigorous
examination of Departmental spending to identify and eliminate waste and
duplication. Better collaboration between Departments on an all-Ireland basis
and joint delivery of goods and services is another area that should be
explored in an effort to identify areas where both administrations would
realise financial saving.
“Savings could then be redirected into a jobs
strategy that would secure existing jobs, create new opportunities, increase
tax revenue and encourage spending in the local economy, further increasing job
prospects. We must reverse the present course being adopted by both
“Unemployment is not working – there is a better