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Government must focus on getting Ireland back to work – Morgan

16 June, 2009

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said the Government’s number one priority must be creating and retaining jobs. Deputy Morgan said in the one year that Mary Coughlan has been Enterprise Minister 200,000 people have lost their jobs and the Government is doing absolutely nothing to get them back to work and stimulate the economy.

Speaking ahead of a Dáil debate on a Joint Sinn Féin/Labour Party motion on jobs this evening Deputy Morgan said, “In Mary Coughlan’s first year as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment more than 200,000 people have lost their jobs bring the total unemployment figure to over 400,000.

“For these people the Government has done nothing. There is no sign of any job creation or retention plan from the Government and, to add insult to injury, thousands of newly unemployed people are having to wait weeks and months for access to social welfare payments. This is no way to treat a workforce that built the Celtic Tiger.

“This evening Sinn Féin and Labour will jointly table a Private Members 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.

“This is the third Dáil motion jointly tabled by Sinn Féin and the Labour party following earlier motions on the plight of agency workers and the homeless showing that progressive parties can work together to protect vulnerable sections of society which have been ignored by other parties.

“This evening’s motion goes to the very heart of our economic problems and if adopted will form a major plank in our recovery plan. The Government’s primary focus at this time must shift from bailing out banks to creating and retaining jobs.” ENDS

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