10th July 2003
Job losses an inevitable consequence of PD led Governments' economic ideology
Speaking following the announcement of the loss of 200 jobs at Manufacturing Services Ltd in Athlone, Co. Westmeath this Morning, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Trade and Employment Arthur Morgan called on the Government to outline what it intended to do address the mounting job losses.
Deputy Morgan said, ``I have listened all week to the Tánaiste and Minister for Trade and Employment harp on and on about the need for more competition and how ultimately Irish consumers only have themselves to blame for high prices and so on. The irony of the right-wing ideological passion of her arguments will not be lost on the 200 people from Westmeath who received the news today that they are to lose their jobs in the Autumn. This is the reality of Mary Harney's vision of global economics for now and the future. This is so-called competition at its most ruthless and stark. Multi-nationals and large corporations will always travel to where they can exploit cheap labour - to where workers rights are least protected and to where they can browbeat Governments into giving them massive tax breaks.
``Today's announcement is a particularly harsh blow to the midlands which according to figures for June had the largest increase in numbers on the live register (8.7 per cent) recorded in the State. The worst affected county was Westmeath, where numbers on the live register increased by 11.4 per cent in June. Today's announcement will further increase those percentages.
``The Government is failing to bring jobs to the midlands and to the west. It is failing to meet its target of locating half of all new investments in areas with EU objective one status. The IDA's annual report for 2002 showed that the West and Mid-West regions, despite their objective one status, were the worst performing regions in terms of IDA jobs lost in 2002. This shows the Government's strategy of wooing and almost exclusively depending on multi-nationals to provide jobs for our people is a seriously flawed one.
``We need to see a strategy that aims at decentralised job creation. We need to support Irish companies which will be less likely to uproot to other jurisdictions at times of economic downturn.''
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