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Employment removed from Ministerial remit as figures show unemployment increased 57.6% in 2009

24 March, 2010

Speaking today after the release of the Quarterly National Household Survey figures for the fourth quarter of 2009, which showed that unemployment had risen 57.6% in 2009, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Arthur Morgan has hit out at the Government’s response to tackling unemployment.

Deputy Morgan said:

“What has the Cabinet reshuffle done to create employment, to stop the escalation of unemployment in 2010? The answer is nothing. It has created further barriers to accountability and puts a greater veil of confusion and administration with respect to FÁS.

“We need to remember that while the faces in Departments have changed, the failed policies driving them are the same. Mary Coughlan may have changed Departments but Fianna Fáil policies have fuelled this unemployment crisis, as today’s figures have shown unemployment increased 57.6% in the year 2009.

“The greatest calamity of the Cabinet re-shuffle is that there is no single responsibility for employment – the responsibility for FÁS has been divided into three separate Departments. Where does the accountability for FÁS lie? Will this divide and conquer approach benefit the people of this State and placate the rising unemployment figures? No.

“The old saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ is perfect here. Employment will fall through the cracks and Ministerial blame will be shirked as no one person is accountable for getting Ireland back to work.

“Today’s figures are only a preview of the heights unemployment will reach this year. The Government has shown its indifference to the unemployment crisis and to the unemployed by fragmenting FÁS and the responsibility for getting Ireland back to work.” ENDS

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