Government bending facts on job creation to suit their electoral narrative - Tóibín
Sinn Féin Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín has accused the government of bending the facts on job creation to suit their electoral narrative.
Deputy Tóibín was speaking today after the government launched its 2016 Action Plan for Jobs.
“The government is launching jobs documents like its confetti at a wedding. This is having the effect of obscuring the jobs crisis that still exists in this state. Every new job is good news and we in Sinn Féin welcome the improved figures.
“But its important that facts remain central to policy development. A total of 121,000 new jobs have been created in the economy since the FG/Lab came to power. Some 30,000 of these are people on activation schemes which have risen from 50,000 to 81,000 under this government. This means that 91,000 net real fully waged jobs have been created in the five years of this government.
“There are105,000 people within the workforce who are underemployed. In other words they are working a few hours a week but seek a full time job. Some 147,000 people have emigrated. And of course 328,000 people remain on the live register. If you add these figures together you see that over half a million people remain outside of full time waged employment. That’s six people for every one job created.
“My serious concern is that much of the uplift that has happened in the state has been geographically lopsided and has happened due to factors outside of our control such as Quantitive Easing, falling oil prices, low interest rates, favourable exchange rates, and healthy US and British Economies. The internal competitive advantage in this state remains bargain basement corporation tax.
“Our infrastructural stock is depreciating due to falling government investment as a proportion of GDP. Indeed this government’s aim as indicated in the Spring Statement is to achieve the lowest level of government investment in infrastructure in the EU at 1.5% of GDP by 2021. As for the knowledge economy the government has also divested from education at a serious rate over the last five years.
“In contrast to countries such as Denmark and Austria, our indigenous sector is seriously under-developed in terms of size of enterprise and ability to export. This is evidenced by the fact that 90% of exports emanates from the FDI sector which is vulnerable to external shocks.
“The reality is that the government is taking credit for the external factors that have helped to create employment in Ireland while condemning thousands of our people to low paid employment and under-employment.”