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Government adding to unemployment

1 August, 2003

Commenting on the significant rise in unemployment, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said the government was adding to the total by cutting 5,000 Community Employment places this year. He said:

"The highest July unemployment figures since 1999 are an indictment of the economic strategy of this Government. While it has repeatedly claimed that it is adding value to jobs located here by the multinationals, it is predominantly these firms that are laying off workers as they relocate in the global market. The Government has presented no coherent strategy to address this trend. As the most open economy in the EU we are more vulnerable to economic downturn and a jobs slide such as this could turn to disaster in a relatively short period if remedial action is not taken.

"Ordinary working people are now paying the price of the Government's failure to consolidate the economic advances of recent years. They have failed to deliver the essential infrastructural improvements that are necessary. They are over-reliant on the computer and pharmaceutical sectors and they have failed to tackle obstacles to the development of smaller indigenous enterprises such as the scandalously high cost of insurance.

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