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Government’s head in the sand approach to unemployment exacerbating economic crisis

29 April, 2009


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said the Government’s head in the sand approach to the soaring unemployment and plummeting tax takes is exacerbating the economic crisis.

Responding to today’s ESRI report which forecast that the economy will shrink by 9.2% this year and the live register figures which showed that unemployment levels rose to 11.4% this month Deputy Morgan said unless the Government’s priority shifts from bailing out the banks to retaining existing jobs and creating new ones Ireland will suffer the worst economic depression in modern history.

Deputy Morgan said, "This mornings live register figures and the ESRI report that the economy will contract by 14% over 3 years is concrete evidence of the Government’s failed economic policy.

"Ireland is facing a tsunami of unemployment. This morning's CSO live register figures show that another 15,800 joined the live register between March and April to reach 388,600 in April. The ESRI predicts that another 102,000 jobs will be lost by the end of next year.

"While the ESRI stated the Government's recent budget had a positive effect in restoring fiscal stability, the forecast by the ESRI of a11.5% deficit in spending did not take into account the cost to the state of purchasing toxic property assets through NAMA. Sinn Féin opposes making the taxpayer liable for the reckless behaviour of lenders and property speculators.

"The Government is ignoring the unemployment crisis. Unless there is a shift in the Government’s priority away from bailing out the banks and on to saving jobs and creating employment, Ireland will suffer the worst economic depression in modern history.

"The Government must use its resources to fund employment in the private sector. Sinn Fein will continue to call for a €300 million job retention fund.

"Fianna Fáil are primarily responsible for the crisis and their head in the sand approach to the soaring unemployment and plummeting tax takes is exacerbating the crisis." ENDS

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