We Need to Urgently Address Our Local Authority Employment Deficit – Gavan
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called on the Government to take steps to address the ever increasing deficit in Local Authority employment.
Speaking during a debate on the Public Sector Pay Commission, Senator Gavan said:
“Local Authority employment fell by 21% between 2008 and 2013, and has barely grown since. This is a staggering drop for any sector, and here we have a sector heavily hit which is specifically concentrated in providing the type of shared services that make communities work.
“This is a sector which is at the heart of every community across the state and this Government and its predecessor has relentlessly stripped away its funding.
“We are facing a major problem here, and it goes to the heart of Fine Gael’s ideology and lack of vision for this country. What exactly is the Government’s plan for our local communities, I don’t believe that starving the sector of investment is the solution.
“When we invest in our public services, we are investing in our children and our future. It is not simply a cost to the state but an investment that will provide all of us with greater returns.
“Rather than invest in public services and local communities, this Government would instead prefer to see local community jobs being tendered out to private contractors, agencies and initiatives like Jobbridge.
“What this means is the Government is actually paying more in wages than it was in 2008, but it’s hidden as wages now come from two different budgets – direct employment and so-called ‘procurement’ spend. This is inefficient and short-term thinking.
“Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to immediately address the deficit in local authority employment. We want to see our local communities invested in and we want decent jobs that pay workers a fair wage. What we don’t want to see are communities worse off for our children than they were for the previous generation; which is what’s happening under Fine Gael.”