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Long term unemployment up 16.4%

5 January, 2012

Responding to Live Register figures released today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Peadar Tóibín accused the government of settling for an “acceptable” level of unemployment.

Deputy Tóibín said the government has its priorities mismatched as it will spend €3.1 billion on the Anglo promissory note this year while promising just €20 million for job training.

He said:

“According to the seasonally adjusted figures 443,200 people were signing on at the end of December. Of these 180,000 are long-term unemployed, an increase of 16.4%. For each individual and their families this is a disastrous situation. It is also disastrous for the economy.

“It is that it is clear that Fine Gael and Labour have shockingly settled upon what they consider an acceptable level of poverty, unemployment and emigration.

“The government’s own figures, based on a now unrealistic growth figure, state that 400,000 people will be on the live register in 2015. The government is dependent on an emigration rate which, according to the CSO was over 70,000 last year, to achieve this figure. These figures may be acceptable to the well-insulated ministers in this government but they are not acceptable to Irish people, Irish businesses or to the Irish economy.

“This government has found a way to operate outside the laws of economics if it believes that taking money out of the economy, cutting capital spending, increasing VAT and increasing costs will lead to growth or employment.

“In the recent budget the only new initiative unveiled was €20 million for job training. The government will spend 150 times more than this or €3.1 billion on just one instalment of the Anglo promissory note later this year. And therein lies the government’s shocking priority mismatch which is at the heart of the unemployment crisis.” ENDS

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