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Human Rights in Ireland >>
Unemployment Crisis: Joe Higgins calls For emergency action by the state to create jobs now
Joe Higgins is standing for the Dublin Constituency in the Euro Elections to be held on Friday, June 5th
This is a press release from Joe Higgins on the unemployment crisis in Ireland. It documents the huge levels of unemployment and puts forwards a socialist solution. Joe Higgins demands that the state take emergency action to defend provide jobs. He called for the renationalisation of SR Technics and Eircom and the nationalisation of other major companies threatening closure.
On June 5th - Vote Joe Higgins
*Minister Lenihan says an additional 250,000 willbe signing on by the end of next year. On that basis, 600,000 people, an incredible 25% of the labour force, will be on the dole by the end of 2010!
* Just less than 100,000 people (92,514) are signing on in Dublin. The rate of increase in unemployment in Dublin is now significantly higher than the national average.
*Traditional working class communities are bearing a heavy burden. The numbers signing on in Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Finglas and Balbriggan have doubled in the last year.
*Young people under 25 already make up 20% of those signing on in Dublin.
Government policy akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic
At a Press Conference in Dublin yesterday, Joe Higgins, The Socialist Party candidate in the Dublin Euro Election said:
“The response of this government and the main parties to the unemployment emergency is a modern equivalent of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.”
“Eoin Ryan, Fianna Fail MEP, says his “priority in Europe is jobs”. His priority is his own job in Europe but he and his party bear a huge responsibility for the jobs crisis in the first place.”
“For both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, a key policy is to try to influence and lure foreign capitalists to invest to provide jobs. This cap in hand approach is an attempt to continue business as usual. It won’t work and shows they don’t understand the systemic crisis the economy is in.”
Labour offers no alternative
“Labour’s policy is just a version of the same failed policy of reliance on the private sector and is a cruel deception.
“Freeing up credit from the European Investment Bank or reducing business costs through cuts in employers’ PRSI will not work. Private investment collapses in a crisis and bailing out or subsidising businesses will not result in significant employment.
“We need a struggle against unemployment and emergency action from the state to create real jobs. We also need to support those who are the victims of the crisis, the unemployed.”
Defend those on social welfare
“People must not be condemned to live in poverty conditions on the dole, which are what the plans to cut social welfare payments amount to.
“Contrary to the myth, social welfare payments in Ireland are low by European standards. Basic unemployment payment for a single person is approximately 30% below the EU 15 average.”
Joe Higgins went on to call for:
* No redundancies. Workers should resist redundancies or any proposals to sell their jobs. A job lost now is a job and skills lost forever. Defend jobs for future generations.
* Renationalise SR Technics and Eircom which are letting go more than 2,500 workers between them. Nationalise other major companies threatening closure or job losses, under the democratic control and management of working people, to secure the jobs and save the skills.
* Don’t waste billions bailing out the banks – nationalise them instead but under democratic control. Use the money to invest in a new Social Development Plan that could create hundreds of thousands of jobs building and providing proper public transport, health and education services in all communities.
* For democratic public ownership of the key economic resources and the establishment of a plan so that the economy is run for the needs of people, not for profits for a few.
* No cuts in social welfare payments. Prepare now for a massive response and opposition to any new social welfare cuts in the autumn budget.
* Young people and the unemployed must get organised now to fight for a job or training or further education for all.
Caption: Joe Higgins on the economic crisis and workers' rights