Today marks a day where the achievements of women across the globe are celebrated. While inequalities still persist, many positive developments are happening.
The Labour Party is proud to play its part in making these changes happen. As a long-time champion of women's rights and advocate for increased female political representation, the Tánaiste put our Party's ethos into action by choosing all female politicians in his nominations to the Seanad. Combined with our eight female TD's and our three female MEPs, women now represent one third of our parliamentary party.
Today the Government launched Pathways to Work, a new streamlined service which will help jobseekers on their path to re-employment. Taking our current social welfare system from passive to active engagement, Pathways to Work crucially clears obstacles on the path to re-employment.
Amalgamating the services of the Department of Social Welfare, Community Welfare officers and FAS, Pathways to Work will offer job seekers a new 'one stop shop' employment office, covering not only benefit services but also offer a more constructive and focused facility in helping people back to work.
The European Headquarters of Facebook in Dublin today was the location for the launch of JobBridge' - The National Internship Scheme which was launched by Minister Joan Burton. In attendance were business leaders and people from the community and voluntary sectors.
JobBridge is aiming to provide 5,000 internship places to the unemployed over the next two years.
It is part of the Governments 'Jobs Initiative' which will offer 20,900 education, training and work experience places for the unemployed as well as the 'Springboard' initiative which will provide 6,000 places on a range of 200 part-time courses.
The launch was a great success and a step in the right direction for getting Ireland working again.
"We cannot cut our way out of this crisis, we must also have growth. In this uncertain climate, a €6billion adjustment could inflict another year of stagnation on the Irish economy. Having endured so much, and having been promised that the corner was being turned, the danger is that the Irish people will have to suffer another year of little or no growth, and more joblessness.
"The four year plan published today presents the Irish people with the bill for 13 years of Fianna Fail Government. Over 140 pages, it outlines the price of economic failure," Deputy Joan Burton, Labour Spokesperson on Finance said today.
Our Spokesperson on Social and Family Affairs, Deputy Roisin Shortall also released a statement saying the plan to reduce tax relief on employee pension contributions will hit the take home pay of hundreds of thousands of low and middle income workers
Earlier today we made a short video with our Deputy Leader Joan Burton TD . In it Joan talks about Black Thursday; how the Government has failed as well as talking about some of the things that Labour would do differently.
"Have you had a chance to read the two damning indictments of our banking crash", writes the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Joan Burton TD.
"The two reports, one by international experts and the second by the Governor of the Central Bank , lay the blame fairly and squarely on the Government and in particular, on the Taoiseach, the then Minister for Finance and secondly of the total failure of the Central Bank and the Regulator to do their job of supervising the banks and preventing a crash."
Joan talks more about these issues in the video, do let us know what you think in the comments section below.
The Labour Leader and Deputy Leader Joan Burton TD
Never before in the history of the State have the policies of a Government been subject of such excoriating criticism as today's reports on the banking crisis from both the international panel and the Central Bank Governor. Ministers have worked overtime in the past week to extract as much favourable comment as they can from the 2 reports. All that effort is in vain because the entire thrust of both reports is a thorough indictment of the financial governance of this State over a prolonged period.