Government Jobs Initiative turning into farce
“The government’s jobs initiative, already downgraded from the promised jobs budget, and a central plank of Fine Gael’s pre-election 5-point plan is rapidly descending into political farce” states Michael Finnegan, president of the Workers’ Party.

“It is obvious” continued Mr Finnegan “that the most urgent necessity for this country and for its future is a planned programme of secure, sustainable and well paid jobs. The Workers’ Party believes that it is possible to create these jobs, and we have set out our plans clearly in our budget submission and other documents.”


“Unemployment, which is hovering just under the half million mark, is economically unsustainable as well as life destroying for the individuals and families involved. If, in the very short term we could reduce unemployment levels by even 25% it would have a huge impact on government income and expenditure. It is clear however that the government will not aim for even this modest target. Instead they will tinker around the edges of policy to create this mythical climate for job creation. Despite the complete failure of the private sector in construction and banking, and the black hole into which they have led this country,our new coalition still puts its faith in that self same group of people".


“We propose that in the immediate term the government’s capital budget be geared to high employment projects rather than high cost, low-employment vanity projects. There is an urgent need for investment in social infrastructure and for a massive programme in retrofitting housing to proper insulation standards. These are low cost but high-employment projects. Tourism, and food production – especially high-quality artisan products, are other areas which have been highlighted by many experts as areas ripe for immediate expansion".


“In the medium term we must look to our own resources to kick start the productive sector. The resources of our commercial semi-state companies must be harnessed for planned growth and expansion. If our three state owned energy companies – Bord na Móna, ESB, and Bord Gáis – cooperate on strategic projects and on an export strategy there is huge potential for jobs and earnings in the renewable energy sector. In the long term the potential of our natural resources like oil, gas and mineral deposits should, as in the case of Norway or Venezuela, be the basis for long tern economic sustainability".


“However this government, still in thrall to private enterprise and guided by the reactionary McCarthy Report, will not take any bold initiatives. Therefore almost 500,000 Irish people will languish on the dole queue or be forced onto the emigrant boat” concluded Mr Finnegan.


Issued: Wed 4th May 2011

Peace, Work, Democracy, and Class Politics