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Rise in unemployment a national emergency – Tóibín

30 March, 2011

Speaking today following the release of the Live Register figures for March which saw an increase of 1,100 people, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Peadar Tóibín has described the rise in unemployment as ‘a national emergency’.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“The increase in unemployment and those signing on is a national emergency that warrants swift, decisive Government action. What we have got instead is a promise of a Jobs plan and budget after the first 100 days.

“Given that ESRI figures state that 50,000 people will emigrate this year, that means that roughly 13,000 people will emigrate while they are waiting the for the new government to publish their plan.

“People cannot wait any longer for Government intervention. The Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation needs to present the Jobs Plan as a matter of priority.

“Since the election over 1000 people have signed on. This Government was not given a mandate for inaction; they were given a mandate to create jobs.

“Yesterday when I was questioning the Minister he kept referring to the Jobs Plan. His reply, like the Programme for Government was high on rhetoric but short on specifics. We need a real plan to deal with the crisis were almost half a million people are unemployed and 1,000 people a week are leaving.

“We in Sinn Féin are proposing that an ‘Export for Recovery’ programme for small businesses be rolled out immediately through the County Enterprise Board network. Currently there is no such state wide export programme for small businesses with less than 10 employees. These people have skills and experience having set up fully operating businesses. For many the domestic market has dried up. Now it is time for this state to step in and support their export activities.”

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