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Still no sign of action from Government as unemployed figures soar – Morgan

20 August, 2008

Speaking today Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson Arthur Morgan criticised the Government for its failure to prepare for the slowdown in the economy even though all economic indicators pointed to such an inevitability. Deputy Morgan said even as unemployment figures rise there is no sign of action from the Government.

Deputy Morgan was commenting as the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed an increase in unemployed in the second quarter of the year from 4.8% to 5.1%, an increase of 15,000 people.

He said, "The increase in unemployment in the second quarter shows that the crisis in the economy is continuing as the figures are higher than in the first quarter of the year.

"15,000 jobs were lost in the second quarter many of them in the construction sector. The vast majority of these workers have no experience of working in other sectors and it is imperative that the Government opens up training and educational opportunities for them to begin work in other sectors as construction continues to decline.

"Sinn Féin and others continuously warned the Government that the over reliance on the construction sector and the property market was foolish. We urged investment in education and in research and development but our calls fell on deaf ears.

"The Government ignored all the warning signs that the economy was heading for a slowdown and failed to prepare for the recession even though all the economic indicators pointed to such an inevitability. The result of all of this can clearly be seen in today's announcement from the CSO.

"Even now as the figures continue to rise there is no evidence of any action from the Government to tackle unemployment." ENDS

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