Folly of sick pay proposals highlighted as jobs crisis escalates — Calleary

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has said the latest Live Register figures show that the jobs crisis continues to deteriorate and that the Government’s jobs strategy is not working. Deputy Calleary has again appealed to the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton not to make things worse by introducing a statutory sick pay scheme.

Dep Calleary said: “These figures show that 33,000 new entrants joined the Live Register last month. That’s an average of 4,870 men and 3,447 women joining the Live Register every single week in October. It is clear that this jobs crisis continue to get worse, and it’s time for the Government to rethink its policies on job creation and supporting SMEs.

“Over the past week alone we had news up of up to 3,500 job losses at eircom and An Post, and 44 AIB branches were shut down as part of a cost cutting plan that includes 2,500 redundancies by the end of next year. That’s thousands of people across the country who will soon be out of work but don’t show up on any official figures yet.

“According to today’s figures, just a fraction of those who are currently out of work are receiving support from the State to re-train, up-skill, and get back to employment. Last month there were than 434,200 people on the Live Register but only 73,449 people in employment activation programmes. What about the remaining 360,751 people who have no place on any scheme or initiative to help them get work?” asked Dep Calleary.

“The Government must look at these figures and reconsider its disastrous plans for a statutory sick pay scheme. It is very clear that now is not the time to impose higher costs on small businesses that are already struggling to retain jobs. All the evidence shows that Minister Burton’s plans will lead to job losses at a time when the economy can least afford it.”

He continued: “So far all we’ve really seen from the Government is self-congratulatory spin on the number of actions delivered. Sadly as today's figures show, this is making very little real impact.”

 

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