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Water charges and Property Taxes leading to the creation of a ‘Shutter Island’ - Tóibín

5 June, 2014

Responding to the latest CSO unemployment figures, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Peadar Tóibín TD has stated that there are three important facts emerging from the governments activities.

He said:

“The first is that the rate of job creation is slowing down. On a seasonally adjusted basis employment rose by 1,700 in the last quarter compared to 10,600 in Q4 2013.

“Secondly those sectors that are most sensitive to government austerity policies such as retail are suffering most with a drop of over 5,000 jobs in the sector in the years to Q1 2014. Citizens’ expectations with regards income and expenditure determine their spending patterns. Every year when the budget debates occurs spending falls as people start to save to meet expected flat taxes.

“Retailers noticed this specifically during the property tax debacle and they are noticing it with regards the Water charges debacle. The wholesale and retail sector is a weather vein of the Irish government policy and 6 years of retrenchment has led to the characterisation of our country as ‘Shutter Island’. The truth is the Property Tax and Water Charges are anti-job measures costing thousands of jobs in already hard hit sectors such as retail.

“The third issue causing great worry with regards policy development is the fact that the figures emanating from the CSO on jobs are now unreliable. In March of this year total figures for job creation and those in the Agriculture sector were grossly overestimated. Where figures are reliable it shows great volatility.

“The government cannot proceed on this basis. The retail sector needs to be allowed to consolidate and grow. It needs the government to desist from its anti-jobs policies.”

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