Senator Paul Gavan calls for radical policy programme to tackle Limerick unemployment blackspots
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called for a radical new suite of targeted actions to tackle unemployment blackspots across the north and south sides of Limerick City.
He was responding to a briefing paper from the Oireachtas Library and Research Service that highlighted eight areas of the city that suffer from chronic unemployment and disadvantage including St Mary’s Park, Galvone, Ballynanty, Pennywell, Prospect and Kileely.
Speaking directly to Minister of State Josepha Madigan in the Seanad, Senator Gavan said:
“The fact that eight out of 10 of the worst unemployment blackspots in the state are in Limerick City is a damning indictment on the political establishment who have run our city both locally and nationally over the past two decades. This is their legacy.
“We see unemployment running at anywhere between 39% and 57% across these eight electoral areas of our city. There needs to be urgent political action from this government and I am calling for that action to happen without delay.
“We need policies that bring back local jobs and local opportunities. Sinn Féin have been calling for a programme of Community Wealth Building across the Island. This promotes growing local jobs and local suppliers so that opportunities stay in the community.
“Community Wealth Building has been proven to work in other countries. In Limerick, it will work where local anchor institutions, like University Hospital Limerick, Limerick City and County Council, and the University of Limerick align procurement policies to develop local supply chains, with a focus on low carbon footprint, trade union recognition and a Living Wage. This would mean more good local jobs for Limerick people.
“This is just one policy proposal. We also need radical interventions in the realm of education and particularly through the roll out of apprenticeships. We need to see Limerick City and County Council especially taking a major lead in this regard.”
Senator Gavan also called on the government to introduce the IDA to the north side of the city, calling out the failure of that agency to deliver jobs to that area of the city.
Senator Gavan concluded: “Limerick deserves much better. It deserves better jobs and opportunities, and the opportunity to grow communities and to build back better after this pandemic.
“More of the same failed policies will not do. We need a complete break from the past and the enactment of a radical programme of community wealth building to deliver for all of the people of Limerick City.”