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Government’s Summer Economic Statement abandons the long-term unemployed - Quinlivan

12 July, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has today criticised the Government’s target of getting people back to work over the next 5 years as outlined in the Summer Economic Statement. Under the government’s plans the unemployment rate will remain unchanged at 5.5% in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Speaking from Leinster House today, the Limerick City TD said;

“These figures show that the government intends to make no progress in getting people back to work from 2019 onwards. 

“Although reaching the current low level of unemployment is welcome, there is no justification for abandoning 5.5% of the workforce, or over 100,000 people and leaving them in a state of joblessness. 

“Figures from the CSO show that in Quarter 1 of 2017, 53.8% of those in unemployment are defined as being long-term unemployed. This means that leaving the level of unemployment at 5.5% from 2019 onwards will result in the long-term unemployed being specifically affected and worsening their chances of re-entering the workforce. 

“Just last month 79 unemployment blackspots were identified across the country, 18 of these being in Limerick. These are areas where over 27% of the workforce is unemployed.

"This data should be used as a tool to tackle joblessness in these areas, but the Summer Economic Statement figures released today seem to indicate that they will remain blackspots in the coming years. 

“We appreciate the challenges the economy is facing into as a result of Brexit, but this should be no reason to give up on the progress made to date in getting people back to work and growing businesses.

"Trade and jobs on this island must be protected as a result of Brexit, and a special status designation for the North will contribute to contribute to this.

“The government need to up their game and introduce new measures aimed at specifically up-skilling the long-term unemployed and getting them back into the workforce.

“I am very disappointed by this lack of ambition by the government and I intend to raise it with the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation.”

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