Jobs plan “mostly a rehash”: Toibín
Sinn Féin spokesperson for jobs, enterprise and innovation, Peadar Toibín TD, in response to the government’s proposed Action Plan for Jobs, said today:
“The government proposals today were mostly a rehash of initiatives already unveiled and the plan is to implement them within existing, significantly reduced, budgets. In the build-up to the announcement we were promised much; however on publication we find no new money and no meaningful targets.
“Job creation and growth is the most important issue facing this state. In almost 12 months since this government took office, nearly half a million people remain unemployed.
“The Taoiseach Enda Kenny seemed confused over whether the target is to create 100,000 additional jobs or as the he claimed, 100,000 net new jobs by 2016.
“In 2009 Enterprise Ireland received €359.49 million. This year this figure has been reduced to €307.8 million, a reduction of 14.3% over four years. In 2009 City and County Enterprise Boards received €21.67 million and this year are set to receive €15 million a reduction of 30% over four years. IDA funding has also been reduced by €10 million over the last year.
“Long term unemployment has increased by 14.5% to nearly 200,000 people. In the last year 76,000 have emigrated. At the same time 1640 companies have been declared bankrupt not to mention the thousands of sole traders that have shut up shop.
“While Foreign Direct Investment is very important, it should be remembered that over 72% of our employment is in small and micro-sized industries.
“The European Micro Finance Progress Facility last year made available up to €500 million in funds and guarantees for small business in the EU. Since then 11 countries have drawn down money. Despite recognising the role of micro-enterprise in job creation the government has failed to facilitate the drawdown of this European finance.
“Despite the fanfare around this new Jobs Plan there will be no new government money for jobs creation.
“This year the Anglo Irish promissory note will cost the people of this state €3.1 billion. The amount invested by the government in the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Enterprise Boards will be €0.447 billion. It is clear where the government priorities lie.