Government being dishonest on job creation – Tóibín
In response to publication of the government’s Action Plan for Jobs Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín accused Labour and Fine Gael of being dishonest on job creation and of rehashing previously announced measures. The Sinn Féin Jobs Spokesperson also sharply criticised the government parties for failing to deliver a coherent strategy on regional enterprise development.
The Meath West TD said:
“Since entering into government in 2011 employment has increased by just 58,600, this figure falls far short of Labour and Fine Gael’s commitment to create 100,000 jobs during their term in office. For every job created five people have emigrated. There are 48,500 less under 35s employed since Labour and Fine Gael took up office, and one out of every four under-25s are still out of work.
“If this government is to deliver full employment by 2018 they would need to create 43,275 net new jobs every year, which seems an extraordinary commitment in the context of their record to date which is just 14,650 jobs year on year.
“Government tells us that today’s Jobs announcement for 2015 puts a Regional Enterprise Strategy centre stage, yet all we have is a few paragraphs that are a rehash of their 2014 commitments. There is no meat on the bones nor is there any mention of the West and South West where numbers in employment have actually fallen by 13,600.
“Indigenous SME and micro-businesses access to public procurement, particularly in the areas of goods and services which are worth around €9 billion annually to the domestic economy, has been raised time and time again with government Ministers. Today’s Jobs Plan does nothing to address the blockages they face. Instead Labour and Fine Gael have taken the position that the fault lies with businesses and as a result they have limited their commitments to a couple of lines around raising awareness and capability.
“Labour and Fine Gael’s decision to rehash their 2014 ecommerce commitments will be particularly disappointing to small retailers. Currently the sector is losing 75% of the €6bn online sales each year to companies outside of the state. Every 1% of lost revenue Irish businesses win back boosts the local economy by roughly €40m yet the government has delivered no new proposals to increase online trading. Under this government’s watch ecommerce leakage is becoming a torrent.
“When dealing with strategic state investment there is no new direction coming from government. We had hoped to see a return to sound economic fundamentals, for example a significant increase in new social housing builds creating jobs, reducing inequality and stabilising house prices for the longer term.”