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LABOUR/ SINN FÉIN DAIL MOTION SEEKS URGENT ACTION ON JOBS CRISIS

15 June, 2009


The Dail will this week debate a joint Labour Party/ Sinn Féin motion calling on the government to take a number of specific initiatives to halt the jobs haemorrhage and put people back to work.

The motion criticises the lack of government action in the face of major job cuts at employers such as Dell, Waterford Crystal and SR Technics, and calls for a number of actions including taking Eircom into public ownership to provide a suitable platform for investment in broadband; the establishment of a National Investment Bank to invest in our own future and help create jobs including by ensuring access to credit for small business; and the fast tracking of business start-ups by creating one-stop enterprise business points to bring together funding, expertise and advice for entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses or grow existing ones. (Full text of motion is attached).

The Labour Party Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Willie Penrose, who will jointly move the motion, said that the May Live Register figures, which saw the numbers exceed 400,000 for the first time ever, were truly shocking and meant the government could no longer ignore the unemployment problem.

“Job creation and training projects that were adequate when there were less than 200,000 on the Live Register are simply not adequate to cope with the massive numbers now out of work. The 200,000 added to the Live Register over the past twelve months is costing the Exchequer €4bn in additional social welfare payments and lost tax revenue. It is clear that we will never get the state’s finances back into order until we get people back to work.

“The motion we are moving with Sinn Féin provides a number of sensible and practical measures to make this happen.


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Arthur Morgan said getting the economy back on track and tackling Ireland’s unemployment crisis go hand in hand and that Fianna Fáil and the Green’s argument that the government’s focus must be solely on bailing out the banks in order to stabilise the economy is nonsense.

Deputy Morgan said: “Ireland needs urgent action from government to retain jobs, create new employment, assist struggling businesses and critically support the development of new enterprises. Sinn Féin made this argument in its pre budget submission to government last October, yet here we are with unemployment number exceeding 400,000 and the government continues to focus its efforts and tax payers’ money on bad banks and dodgy developers.

“Our proposals will support and develop enterprise in all sectors. Tackling unemployment should be the government’s number one priority. Those who have lost their jobs over the last 18 months are waiting for a government response – they are losing all hope that the government is capable or willing to act to retain and create jobs.” ENDS

ENDS

NOTICE OF MOTION

That Dáil Eireann
Recognises that getting the economy back on track must be the number one priority and that this requires urgent action to retain and create jobs, to assist struggling businesses and those attempting to establish new enterprises and to ensure that those currently unemployed have the skills required to get back into employment;
Noting that
402,100 people are now unemployed
195,100 people have lost their jobs in the year to the end of April
Viable SME’s are continuing to close because they cannot access credit
Provisions for retraining and up-skilling of unemployed workers and those in vulnerable sectors of the economy have been totally inadequate
The lack of urgency with which proposed jobs cuts at key employer such as Dell, Waterford Crystal and SR Technics have been met has resulted in jobs that may have otherwise been saved being lost
Escalating unemployment has resulted in a sharp fall in revenue from income tax while the social insurance fund is at a risk of running out by the end of the year in part due to the pressure on it from welfare payments to those out of work.


Calls on the government to take urgent action to stem the jobs haemorrhage and put people back to work through, in particular:

The establishment of a National Investment Bank to invest in our own future and help create jobs including by ensuring access to credit for small business;
The fast tracking of business start-ups by creating one-stop enterprise business points to bring together funding, expertise and advice for entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses or grow existing ones;
Taking Eircom into public ownership to provide a suitable platform for investment in broadband;
Measures, including tax breaks, to assist employers to retain workers in employment and to take people off the dole;
Providing support for Irish manufacturers and producers to export to markets outside the US and Britain including language and regulation support;
Setting up a ‘Bridge the Gap’ work experience scheme for graduates and apprentices;
Helping people working part-time to train in their time off through an ‘Earn and Learn’ scheme; and
Launching a skills drive for people who have lost jobs and those in vulnerable sectors of the economy, including tax back for full-time study and measures to get early school leavers back into education.

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