Govt Must Invest In Jobs - SIPTU

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said that 'no comfort' could be taken from the latest unemployment figures and warned that underlying figures and trends were 'quite chilling'.

Congress Chief Economist Paul Sweeney said the latest figures highlighted the necessity to invest in jobs, in next week's budget.

"The new figures show a tiny fall in the jobless rate, down from 14.9% to 14.8% and nobody could possibly take comfort from that. In addition, when you look beneath the headline data the picture that emerges is quiet chilling.

"Again, we see a further fall in employment and even less people at work in the economy. This downward trend has not altered, which makes it abundantly clear that official policy must change in next week’s budget. It is vital that investment is not cut further but increased," Sweeney said.

"There are also other worrying indicators, such as a male unemployment rate that is some three percentage points above the national rate."

He warned that total investment in the Irish economy is now at the very bottom of the EU 27, below that of Greece.

"Ireland's investment level no longer covers the replacement of capital. It is unheard of in any developed economy - that investment would be allowed to fall to the extraordinary low levels that now pertain in Ireland," he said

"Instead of cutting public investment by €550 million as planned in the Budget, Congress has called for a stimulus of an additional €3bn investment each year for the next three. Congress has outlined where it should be invested and where the capital can be found, in our detailed policy paper Delivering Growth and Jobs," Sweeney concluded.

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