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Fall in retail sales a result of Government inaction on employment – Morgan

9 February, 2010

Speaking today after the release of the Retail Sales Index by the Central Statistics Office today, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Deputy Arthur Morgan said the failure of the Government to create employment has led to a decline in retail sales.

“The fact that retail sales fell by 7.5% in December 2009 compared to December 2008 shows not only the failure of this Government to create employment that will put money in people’s pockets, stimulate consumer spending and thus aid economic growth, but the measures taken in Budget 2010 to cut the social welfare, to cut the pay of low and middle-income workers already crippled by levies shows a Government indifferent to economic recovery.

“At a time when consumer spending should have been making steady increases, in the run-up to Christmas, people were bracing themselves for the New Year that would bring severe cuts to their income. It is little wonder that the volume of retail sales is down. People approached the holidays with caution and were preparing themselves to make savings were possible.

“I do not take any consolation from the fact that this has been the smallest decline in 17 months; nor does the increase in consumer confidence to the highest level in two years inspire much hope in this Government.

“Budget 2010, the Finance Bill 2010 and Governmental allegiance to the high-earners of this State will have damning consequences for this economy for the coming year. After pay cuts, social welfare cuts and further job losses have taken hold, I would not be surprised to see retail sales drop further this month or indeed for the rest of the year.” ENDS

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