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Minister not dealing with reality: Tóibín

3 May, 2012

Today the Minister for Social Protection claimed that the policies of the government were working, as unemployment was stabilising.

This is in stark contrast to all recent economic data the including the downturn in visitor numbers, the fact that we are in a second recession and that the same is happening across Europe.

The minister does not even seem to be aware of the forecast by the Department of Finance that the unemployment will rise by 0.4 % this year.

It is nonsense for any minister to claim success because the live register has stayed at 14-15%. The high levels of emigration are the biggest factor in suppressing unemployment.

This is the four highest rate of unemployment in the EU and is completely unacceptable.

With 430,000 people continuing to sign on and an increase of 8.6% in long term unemployment under this government is not a success. It is the outworking of a fundamental failure of government policy.

It should be remembered that this minister believed that people signed on as a lifestyle choice.

It is time that the Minister and this government, listened to the people, ended the disastrous austerity policy and invested to create employment.

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