Monday, April 13, 2009


MARCH 2009

Unemployment Rises Again in January

The recession continues to bite, and indeed worsens, as the Central Statistics Offices figures indicate that the Live Register figures rose higher again for January 2009. In the Dublin area, the figure was up by almost 8,000 from December 2008, an increase of over 32,000 from last year. This situation will be compounded by the fact that SR Technics propose to make over 1,100 staff redundant as they are ceasing operations in Dublin. People in the Fingal area are being hit hard, and it is not helped by the fact that the Balbriggan Social Welfare Office has temporarily closed and residents now have to travel to Coolock to collect their money.

Local Sinn Féin election candidate Fergus Byrne said: "The Government must ensure that, as the unemployment situation worsens, there are adequate measures put in place to ensure that people do not have to travel unreasonable distances to collect their social welfare allowances. There is enough pressure on people without having to pay extra money out for bus fares. The unemployment figures are rising all the time and it’s very worrying for everyone. Very few people now feel secure in their jobs."

It is feared that the economic crisis will lead to severe worsening of social problems. Said Byrne: "Balbriggan and other towns experienced expansion but not enough facilities were introduced to cope with the vast increase in houses built. Everyone is on top of one another and in these extremely hard times one wonders to what extent the social problems and crime will worsen. We in Sinn Féin are committed to working with the marginalized people who are victims of poor planning and poor economic planning by the Government."


Unemployment in Balbriggan rises by 65% in 12 months

Local Sinn Féin candidate Fergus Byrne has called on the Government to target job creation in Balbriggan after figures published showed that the numbers of people signing on the dole office in Balbriggan has increased from 1,435 in October 2007 to 2,345 in October 2008. Byrne slammed the Government for its complete failure to include any job creation proposals in budget 09.

He said, "This Government ignored all the warning signs that the economy was heading for a slowdown and failed to prepare for the recession even though all the economic indicators pointed to such an inevitability. The result of all of this can clearly be seen in the latest report from the CSO which shows that unemployment has significantly increased across the state.
"The government cannot continue to sit on their hands in the face of rising unemployment. The budget spectacularly failed to include any measures to create employment and even now as the figures continue to rise there is no evidence of any action or plan from the government to tackle unemployment.

"My own constituency of Balbriggan is clearly suffering the effects of Government inaction on employment. CSO figures show that in the last twelve months the live register nationally rose from 157,449 to 251,951, an increase of 60%. While the average for Dublin was 50.8%, in Balbriggan it increased by a massive 63.4%.

"Clearly the Government must start targeting job creation to unemployment black-spots and in towns and villages which are hemorrhaging jobs at a high or disproportionate rate. As these figures show Balbriggan certainly fall into this category.

"It is essential that the state introduces a specific back to education scheme for construction sector workers under the age of 25 without Leaving Certificates. The Taoiseach's Department estimates that under 25s represent 50.3% of the total construction unemployment figure in 2007 & 2008 and that a large majority does not have a Leaving Certificate. It is also essential that training and upskilling courses for alternative industries to construction are provided."

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