7 June 2010
16,000 'Greetings from the dole' postcards delivered to Dublin Government
Sinn Féin’s ‘Jobs for the Unemployed’ campaign saw the delivery of over 16,000 postcards to Government buildings in Dublin on Wednesday. The postcards demand action on creating jobs and were launched by the party earlier this year as part of an extensive campaign on unemployment.
The party’s elected representatives arrived in Dublin with sacks of the postcards and described the growing anger at the government’s inaction
The hand- in of the postcards coincided with the publication of the latest monthly live register figures, which saw an increase of those signing on the dole.
Senator Pearse Doherty said that the only plan the Government had to deal with the jobs crisis was to cut welfare entitlements.
“Almost half a million people are unemployed. Many more have emigrated. This week the Government pumped another €2 billion into Anglo Irish Bank only days after announcing plans to further cut welfare entitlements for those out of work,” he said.
“As part of Sinn Féin’s ‘Jobs for the Unemployed’ campaign, party activists and representatives engaged with thousands of unemployed people across the state. They all want the same thing. They want the Government to focus on the jobs crisis and to start implementing the type of proposals put forward by Sinn Féin to stimulate the economy and create jobs. They are growing increasingly angry that the Government is doing nothing.”
Doherty said the skills and abilities of thousands of the state’s young, educated and highly trained work force, which should be at the centre of efforts to rebuild the economy, are being wasted, because the Government refuses to get serious about job creation.
“These are people who want to work. They want to put their skills and education to good use. They do not want to emigrate but many feel this is what they are being forced to do,” he said. “The Social Welfare Bill, published late last week, is an insult to these people. The Bill has no role in resolving the unemployment crisis. It is a blatant attempt to get the least well off in society to pay for the economic mess created by this Government and its cronies in the banks and in the property sector.”
He called on the Government to listen to what the unemployed are saying. “There will be no end to the economic crisis until the Government faces up to its responsibility to implement a strategy to create new jobs. One thing is clear, the unemployed are not prepared to put up with Government inaction any longer.” Last year in ‘Getting Ireland Back to Work’ Sinn Féin put forward more than 80 proposals to retain and create jobs. Earlier this year in ‘No Job? No Future? No Way!’ Sinn Féin put forward proposals to take 50,000 under 25s off the dole.
Speaking today after the Seasonally Adjusted Live Register showed an increase of 6,600 people signing on the dole in May 2010, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Arthur Morgan hit out at the Government’s failure to invest in people and create jobs, while pumping billions of euro into a zombie bank.
“Here we have an increase of 6,600 people on the live register in a month. All Fianna Fáil’s Smart Economy has delivered for the people of this island is a card to sign on,” he said.
“This summer, thousands of graduates are leaving our universities, our colleges, and our institutes of technology into an environment of uncertainty - there are no jobs. The Government cannot continue to gamble with the future of the people of this State and continue with the recapitalisation of Anglo Irish, a zombie bank, while neglecting to make the necessary investment in people.”
Morgan added that the Government cannot continue to rely on emigration visas to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to offset the pressure of unemployment that is gripping the state.
Photo: Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty with party councillors and activists delivering thousands of postcards to An Taoiseach demanding action on job creation
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An initiative for dialogue
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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures