Government’s back-slapping condemned by Toibín
At leaders’ questions in the Dáil today, Peadar Tóibín, Sinn Féin spokesperson for jobs, enterprise and innovation challenged the Tánaiste on the government’s failure to tackle unemployment and emigration.
Deputy Toibín contrasted the backslapping antics of the government with the experience of people forced into emigration because of the polices being pursued by the government.
He said: “Last year 76,400 people emigrated from this state. That’s 210 people emigrating each day that this government has been in power.
“Last week we saw the 12,000 people attend the Working Abroad Expo event in Dublin's RDS with queues stretching around the building. Yesterday in Cork several thousand people queued from early morning, some overnight, in order to leave this country.
“The curse of emigration that ravaged this country in the dark days of the 50s and 80s is back with a vengeance because of your economic policies. Kids are being pulled out of school, grandparents, won’t see their grandchildren growing up, homes are being fire sold.
“This government have let go 9,000 employees from the public sector in six months. Today the largest private sector jobs loss in the history of the state was announced with AIB shedding 2,500 workers.
“The vast majority of these people feel like they are falling off a cliff. Contrast this with the back-slapping fest undertaken by government parties yesterday. More people are leaving the country than finding jobs.
“It is the case that emigration has become the central policy platform in your government’s response to unemployment.
“The walls of spin come falling down look at the facts. On 31st of this month the government has decided to put another €3.1 billion in to a promissory note of ‘a bank with no customers’:a completely jobs free investment.
“This is seven times the amount of money that will go into the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Shannon Development and the County Enterprise Boards in total for this year.
“When will your government start to invest in and fix the real economy? Instead of paying the Promissory Note, this money would be better spent on reducing
unemployment, ending emigration, releasing credit to small businesses, enhancing competitiveness and tackling disadvantage.”