Approximately 2,975 North Tipperary people joined the unemployment register in the last year.
With 5,705 people now on the ‘Live Unemployment Register” in North Tipperary and a prediction that one in six workers nationally will be out of work by the end of the year, Deputy Noel Coonan is calling on the Government to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in North Tipperary to protect existing jobs.
Speaking to www.thurles.info, today Deputy Coonan said:
“There has been a 100% hike in the number of people signing on in North Tipperary over the last year. In the last month alone, 213 people joined the dole queue in the area. Roscrea witnessed the biggest jump in the last month of over 5% while 91 more people signed on in Thurles in the same period. Unfortunately, Nenagh did not fare well either with an additional 68 people joining the Live Register. Fine Gael has been proposing measures to help SMEs but they have not been implemented by this Government and those who support it in North Tipperary. Such measures include launching a PRSI exemption for companies taking on new employees and freezing local authority rates and charges to business. I believe a Government-backed loan guarantee for SMEs needs to be introduced as has been done in the UK. The rate of VAT has to be reduced if SMEs are to survive and the Travel tax needs to be abolished. I’m disheartened to see the Government voting against such productive and proactive proposals. Fine Gael is trying to plan for an economically secure future but we are not helped by a Government who seems determined not to support us no matter how fruitful our measures may be.”
Small & medium enterprises (SMEs) currently employ 800,000 people and represent 97% of Irish companies and North Tipperary cannot afford to lose its’ indigenous businesses who provide such vital employment at a time of economic turmoil.
Deputy Coonan also expressed deep disappointment that the Government, this week, voted down a Fine Gael motion to introduce an €18 billion stimulus package over a four-year period that would provide 100,000 jobs and build a modern infrastructure in the area of energy / telecommunications. The latter would have been achieved through the creation of a new State industrial holding company, the New Economy and Recovery Authority (NewERA). This company would co-ordinate, restructure and finance new and existing State companies in the best strategic interests of the Irish people in order to develop the most competitive economy in Europe.
Ireland now has the second highest unemployment in the Eurozone at 11.4%. By Christmas, there could be half a million people on the dole.