Scale of today’s job loss figures are truly shocking – BREEN.

February 12th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has described the scale of job losses in this County which is reflected in the latest CSO figures released today as “Truly Shocking”. Deputy Breen said that this Region is “reeling from job loss announcements”. He claims that the Government has shown no urgency in addressing the issues that has this Region in free fall. He added that Fine Gael has launched a series of measures today which will help to boost the Region at this difficult time. Deputy Breen is calling on the Government to support these measure and he has warned the “those bankers” who he claims have “brought this Country to it’s kneels bankrolling their developer friends” to end the uncertainty for many families who are now struggling by signing up to an Agreement as part of any recapitalisation of the Banks that would see homeowners keeping their homes.”

“The latest figures show a 13.1% increase in the number of people signing over the past month in County Clare or 986 people. The number of those registered as unemployed in this County has now reached 8489. Every area of the County is affected, Ennis up 14.2% from 4259 in December to 4863 in January, Ennistymon up 10.9% from 1216 in December to 1348 in January, Kilrush up 14.1% from 1029 in December to 1174 in January and Tulla up 10.5% from 999 in December to 1104 in January. The yearly change in the Live Register Figures in this County is 74.1% with a massive 92.7% increase in the number of Under 25’s signing on in the past 12 months.”

“The scale of today’s job losses is truly shocking. Every day now I have a stream of people dropping into my Constituency Offices who have lost their jobs. They are from every walk of life, professionals, and self-employed, manufacturing and retail workers. Many small businesses are going to wall as the banks are refusing to extend credit resulting in four, six or ten people losing their jobs. Such closures are going unnoticed for a number of reasons.”

“To compound our problems in this Region, Ryanair announced yesterday that they will reduce their base at Shannon Airport blaming the travel tax imposed in the last budget – a tax that Fine Gael voted against.

“327,900 people are now on the dole in this Country, the Live Register will reach 450,000 or 12% by the end of the year. Fianna Fáil can no longer stand idly by as good businesses go to the wall and the haemorrhage of jobs continues.

“Fine Gael has a plan for the Mid-West and I am now calling on the Government to support our proposals which include:

 

Ring Fence a Marketing Budget for Shannon Airport which would have two clear goals, to promote Shannon as an entry point to regional airport in the USA and promote new routes into Shannon for a two-year period.     

* Ensure that the Mid-West Task Force is given the clout, teeth and resources to do the job.    
FAS should provide the necessary supports including structured career counselling and skills upskilling for those who have been made redundant.    
Shannon Development, in conjunction with other State Agencies, should produce a five year plan for tourism development in the Mid-West Region. The Deadline for applications to the Mid-Shannon Investment Scheme should be extended.      

A Centre for Energy Innovation, to be based in University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology should be established.    
For companies that expand their workforce with new employees, employers should receive an employers’ PRSI holiday for 12 months for each new employee.