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Unemployment is not working – Conor Murphy MP, MLA

12 September, 2011 - by Westminster

Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson, Conor Murphy MP, MLA (Newry/Armagh) calling for a new focus on job creation said:

“It is now common currency among commentators, analysts and many leading world economists, that the austerity measures being implemented by governments cannot adequately address the economic crisis in which we find ourselves.

“Even a cursory examination of the economic policies being followed by the British and Irish governments which directly impact on the lives of every citizen on this island will show that the only sector that is expanding rapidly is the unemployed.

“The unemployment register, North and South is increasing on a daily basis as a direct result of government policies. Of course the unemployment register does not reflect the full extent of job losses. It does not include the thousands who choose to emigrate - taking with them their knowledge, skills and experience.

“Whilst it is recognised that governmental waste and duplication must be eliminated, the unmanaged and ill-informed slashing of spending on public services, motivated simply by budgetary requirements makes no contribution to economic recovery.

“While an individual Minister may be able to claim a reduction in departmental spending, it must also be recognised that if the action taken results in further unemployment then in real terms how much was actually saved?Every person signing on the unemployment register is one more who is dependent on Social Benefits and can no longer contribute to the Exchequer by way of income taxes. Unemployment also reduces spending power in the local economy and puts the job security of others at risk because spending on goods and services suffer.

“Unemployment is not working! It is time for a realistic jobs strategy that will focus on securing existing and creating new jobs particularly in the SME sector by offering incentives through tax credits, up skilling and retraining grants to encourage employers to take initiatives to reduce the local unemployment register. Much of the investment in this strategy could be achieved through a rigorous examination of Departmental spending to identify and eliminate waste and duplication. Better collaboration between Departments on an all-Ireland basis and joint delivery of goods and services is another area that should be explored in an effort to identify areas where both administrations would realise financial saving.

“Savings could then be redirected into a jobs strategy that would secure existing jobs, create new opportunities, increase tax revenue and encourage spending in the local economy, further increasing job prospects. We must reverse the present course being adopted by both governments.

“Unemployment is not working – there is a better way!” Críoch

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