News & Media

FG Jobs Claim is Deceptive

16 January 2020

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Brendan Howlin, Leader of the Labour Party, has said that Fine Gael is claiming credit for creating new jobs even though Brexit will cause a slow down in job growth as well as loss of jobs in certain sectors of the economy, and that the budget surplus is built on lucky tax returns from corporation tax, not careful management of public money.

Brendan said: “The economy is projected to grow more slowly due to Brexit, even if the UK remains close to Europe. Some sectors, like food exports and tourism, are vulnerable to job losses.

“A growing economy and a growing population will naturally create more jobs, but what is Leo Varadkar claiming credit for?

"If Brexit had never happened, we could have had even more jobs. And there is no guarantee that these new jobs will be created where the old ones were lost. Our economy is too imbalanced already with rural towns abandoned by Fine Gael.

“A quarter of all jobs in Ireland are for low pay. Despite their prediction of continued economic growth next year, Fine Gael delayed the rise to the minimum wage, costing the lowest paid workers €50 each. That was just meanness in January when many people are still counting the cost of Christmas.

“Fine Gael can’t claim responsible management of the economy. They are giving away €3 billion for a broadband network that the people won’t own, and that vulture funds could buy in ten years’ time. They have also cancelled or delayed vital investment around the country, to cover their over-spending on the children’s hospital.

"Fine Gael’s budget surplus is built on lucky tax returns from corporation tax, not careful management of public money. And despite setting up a so-called Rainy Day Fund, to claim prudence, Paschal Donohoe neglected to put the planned €500 million in it this year, and so far has only re-labelled money from the pre-existing Strategic Fund. There is no new money in this piggy bank, so how can Fine Gael claim to be prudent?

“Labour wants to see a drive to reduce waste and costly mistakes in the public sector, so that people can have confidence again that the state can deliver 80,000 homes and finally resolve the overcrowding crisis in our hospital Emergency Departments.”