Warning over long-term unemployment threat to builders29/09/2008 - 18:38:55
The Government could be creating a new generation of long-term unemployed if it doesn’t get builders back to work, it was claimed today.
The Labour Party said scores of construction workers are joining the dole queues every week as the housing market continues to contract.
Launching an 11-point ’New Deal’ strategy, leader Eamon Gilmore called for a national insulation plan to create new jobs while improving energy efficiency.
The TD added that the industry should be stimulated by a scheme to build schools for 40,000 children currently in prefabs.
Mr Gilmore claimed Fianna Fáil brought the Irish economy into recession but has no strategy to get us out of it. He called for a medium-term fiscal framework review.
“Although the recession has been made worse by the international credit crunch, it has its origins firmly in the house price bubble which Fianna Fáil stoked, mishandled and refused to dampen.”
He added: “We have just seen the biggest increase in the Live Register in the history of the state. I fear the emergence of a new generation of long-term unemployed in the country. A lot of people taking social welfare want to work but there is no work out there.”
Labour’s 17-page blueprint called for education spending to be ring-fenced and for more value-for-money in public spending.
Stronger regulation of the banking sector should be considered and the performance of the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator should be reviewed, the party said.
The strategic plan also called for ample venture capital for hi-tech start-up firms.
Mr Gilmore said the main factor causing the recession was the collapse in house-building.
“The economy was allowed to become over-reliant on the house building sector in respect of employment and tax revenues to a dangerous degree,” he added.
Labour’s finance spokeswoman Joan Burton claimed that the sky above Government Buildings was filled with ’kites’ because the Coalition had no definite economic plan and was testing public reaction to various ideas.
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