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Labour Blog

Greatest false economy is to pay people to do nothing

Posted on April 06, 2009 at 05:05 PM

Just the Job - Deputy Willie Penrose, Labour Leader Deputy Eamon Gilmore and Deputy Ruairi Quinn at the launch of our 'Just the Job' strategy.
Deputy Willie Penrose, Labour Leader Deputy Eamon Gilmore and Deputy Ruairi Quinn at the launch of our 'Just the Job' strategy.

Today we launched our priorities to deal with the unemployment crisis, 'Just the Job'. In the past year more than 173,000 have signed on the Live Register and the need for jobs and training opportunities has never been more acute.

The Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore launched the document with our Enterprise, Trade and Employment Spokesperson, Deputy Willie Penrose and our Spokesperson on Education Deputy Ruairi Quinn.

Speaking at the launch Eamon said: "The more people who continue to lose their jobs, and the longer people stay on the live register, the more expenditure in other areas will have to be cut to pay for it.

"It simply doesn't make sense. We are cutting front-line expenditure to pay for unemployment, instead of investing that money in keeping jobs, or the skills that will keep people out of long-term unemployment.

"The greatest false economy is to pay people to do nothing. Our ideas are common sense: during this downturn, a large proportion of our labour force is going to spend time on the dole. It should be as easy as possible for this period to be spent constructively, and in particular in a way that will help people get back into employment when the economy starts to recover."

Each person made unemployed cost the Exchequer €20,000 a year in social welfare payments and as people lose their jobs, the Government will have to keep cutting expenditure to pay for them which in turn depresses the economy. This is why getting people back to work is at the cornerstone of Labour's strategy for economic recovery.

In 'Just the Job' we detail 10 ideas, our creative responses to the unemployment crisis we face now. Many of the proposals will pay for themselves and cost less per person that €20,000 annual cost of unemployment.

You can download our 'Just the Job' document from the ideas section of our website. You can also read Eamon's and Willie's statement in full from our media centre.

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