McLoughlin: Coalition’s economic statement ‘a real vision’ for recovery

Economic statement  ‘unfair, contradictory and disappointing,” says Social Justice Ireland
‘Accepting that the number of people unemployed will still be 160,000 in 2020  statement suggests a real lack of commitment to taking the necessary action in this area’

Sligo News File Online

Tony McLoughlin, TD, Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim
Tony McLoughlin, TD,
Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim

The Coalition’s Spring Economic Statement “shows a real vision to spread the recovery to all corners of Ireland.” That’s according to Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim TD, Tony McLoughlin.

His statement emerged just hours before a long-established Sligo-based global subsidiary announced it was laying off 70 of its workforce, and amid rumours of possible further job losses to follow at another plant in the same Finisklin Industrial Estate. Upwards of
40 workers have also since been laid off with the closure of businesses in the town  centre this week

Deputy McLoughlin, in his comments on the Coalition Statement, said that “after years of hardship caused by the economic crisis, and the disastrous policies of the last Fianna Fail-led government, it is time for better living standards and improved public services for all.

“It is time to give our young emigrants the opportunity to come home.”

The Coalition, he stressed, “will achieve the promised 100,000 jobs this year, a year earlier than planned, and by 2018, the jobs lost during the crash will have been recovered.”

Social Justice Ireland ImageHowever, the Coalition’s economic statement, which claims to show the Coalition is fulfilling the mandate given to it by the electorate, has been heavily criticised, not least by Social Justice Ireland who have branded it “unfair, contradictory and  disappointing.

“It lacks a clear guiding vision of where Ireland should be by 2020,” said the organisation.

“It also lacks a clear policy commitment that would move Ireland towards being a more just society.”

The organisation’s review also goes on to state that the decision to split available resources on a 50:50 basis between tax cuts and investment in services “is profoundly unfair. As a ratio of 2:1 was applied in imposing austerity, surely the very minimum that would be expected would be that this ratio should also be used when resources become available.”

Referring to what they said appeared to be contradictory proposals, the organisation cited as an example of this the government’s promise of “quality services while overall tax and expenditure are to fall to record levels.” This, they said, “suggests that government policy is contradicting itself.

They were also disappointed, they said, over some 2020 targets of the Spring Statement. “For example, accepting that the number of people unemployed will still be 160,000 in 2020 suggests a real lack of commitment to taking the necessary action in this area.”

Statistics published by Social Justice Ireland in a Policy Briefing on 27 April show:

There are 272,000 fewer full-time jobs in Ireland today compared to 2007 (-15%).

The number of people in part-time jobs is 55,700 higher than in 2007 (+14%).

More than a quarter (115,500) of part-time workers are underemployed.

Between 2010 and end of 2014 the number long-term unemployed fell by 48,700.

But, in the same period the net loss of Irish people to emigration was 123,800.

58% of those unemployed are long-term unemployed (more than one year).

ElancoDeputy McLoughlin said his thoughts are with the 70 Elanco workers set to lose their jobs.

A total of more than 100 jobs has been lost to Sligo in the last week alone.