Ferris expresses concern with rise in Live Register Figures
North Kerry Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has expressed his grave concern at the release of Live Register figures for the month of February which shows that there are now over 1,000 more people signing on in Kerry than there were 12 months ago. Deputy Ferris said that the majority of the increase came in the North Kerry towns of Listowel and Tralee.
In February 2007 there were 1,069 people signing on in Listowel; that has increased to 1385, an increase of more than 300. There was just over 3,178 signing on in Tralee this time last year and that has increased to over 3,500.
Deputy Ferris said:
“I am seriously concerned with these figures. All areas across Kerry saw increases from 12 months ago, but both Tralee and Listowel make up the majority of the increase. Both constituencies in Kerry have suffered significant job losses over recent years, particularly in the manufacturing sector, however this latest upward surge in Live Register figures, particularly in the Tralee and Listowel areas, is most likely the result of the slowdown in construction.
“For the first time in many years I am hearing reports of some tradesmen in this county considering travelling to Britain to find work. With the growing uncertainty facing construction workers, the availability of other employment is essential. The effects of this government’s over reliance on the construction industry and the property market are now becoming apparent.
“It is unfortunate that the Government did more to bolster the property sector than it did to assist indigenous enterprises in the last 10 years. They have squandered the unprecedented wealth created which could have been used to address the major infrastructural imbalance between east and west. For instance the lack of access to Broadband in many parts of Kerry and our road infrastructure is consistently cited as an obstacle to investment.
“What we now need is a targeted and funded strategy to up-skill workers vulnerable to future jobs-losses following an assessment of sectors, such as the construction and manufacturing sectors. ENDS