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Government relying on emigration to reduce unemployment – Morgan

4 November, 2009

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has attributed the fall in the Live Register figures to emigration and seasonal work. Speaking today Deputy Morgan said the drop in unemployment is minimal when compared to the 422,000 unemployed and called for a job creation strategy from the Government. He went on to say that there should be no cuts to social welfare payments in the upcoming budget.

Deputy Morgan said:

“While the standardised Live Register figures dropped by 3000 last month, there is no cause for the Government or the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to start patting themselves on the back. This drop in unemployment will mean nothing to the 422,000 people who remain on the dole.

“There can be no doubt that the drop in unemployment can be attributed, in the main, to both emigration and seasonal work. This Government, in its failure to bring forward a credible jobs creation plan, has left many of our young people with little choice other than to emigrate for employment. That is a shocking indictment of the Government.

“There is also the fact that work in sales is currently enjoying a seasonal boost in preparation for the Christmas and New Year shopping period. However, the vast majority of the people benefiting from these jobs will be back on the dole early in the New Year as the shopping season comes to a close.

“And only this morning the Taoiseach once again signalled that cuts in social welfare payments are on the way in the upcoming budget. So the choice for young graduates seeking work is to either stay here, in one of the highest cost of living countries in the OECD, on a reduced dole or to emigrate.

“We have heard a similar call for cuts in social welfare this morning from the OECD. This is the kind of backward policy that does more damage than good. Reducing the living standards for this vulnerable section of society will not get people back to work. It will plunge people further into poverty and make essential services like education, training and health more unattainable.

“It will also restrict the spending capabilities of a large section of people causing a further contraction in the economy.

“There should be no cutting of social welfare payments in the upcoming budget. And, furthermore, the Christmas bonus should be reinstated to help struggling families cope with the spending pressures associated with the festive season.” ENDS

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