Eoin Ó Broin – Jobs - Ard Fheis 2012
The single biggest challenge facing the Fine Gael Labour government today is unemployment.
14% of the labour force is out of work. 43% are long term unemployed.
440,000 people are languishing on the live register.
1,500 people, many of them young, are leaving the state every single week.
The impact of the jobs crisis is hurting families and communities.
In my own constituency of Dublin Mid-West more than 10,000 people are signing on, more than when Fine Gael and Labour took office. During the last general election Fine Gael and Labour promised to invest in jobs.
Enda Kenny told the voters that he would invest €7 billion in job creation in during the life time of the government. Eamon Gilmore promised a €2.8 billion investment in the form of a strategic investment bank. But since taking office this Government has refused to seriously invest in jobs. In 2011 less than €500 million was directly invested by the state in job creation.
Contrast this with the €21.4 billion Fine Gael and Labour poured into the banks, including €3.1 billion in Anglo in the same year. It seems Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore are more interested in bailing out banks getting people back to work.
Very little has changed in Government buildings since the bad old days of Brian Cowen and Micheal Martins Fianna Fail administration. We need investment and we need it now.
Sinn Féin has proposed a €13 billion investment programme over three years to get 100,000 people back to work. There is money in the National Pension Reserve Fund. This could be matched by funds from the European Investment Bank. Finance is also available from the cash reserves of NAMA and the private pension industry.
It is time for the Government to put up or shut up. It is time for real investment to create employment. It is time to deliver on the pre-election promises.
People need hope. People need to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. M of all people need work.