[Sinn Fein]

17th July 2003

Escalating job losses show failure of PD-led strategy

Commenting on the escalating job losses, Sinn Fein Dail leader and Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said they showed the failure of the Government's PD-led economic strategy and the need for new thinking on the economy. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``The response of the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Harney to the daily toll of job losses is a mantra that each factory closure or workforce cut is `devastating'. This has now become meaningless. Workers and their families do not have to be told how grievous a blow it is to lose employment. What they want to hear from the Tánaiste and her Government colleagues is how lost jobs will be replaced and how sustainable employment will be put in place for the future.

``The Tánaiste boasts that the Irish economy is the most globalised in the world. But it is the over-reliance on the globalised market and on inward investment by multinational companies that is leading to the dramatic drop in jobs that we are now seeing. The escalating losses show the failure of the PD-led economic strategy of this government. They have failed to put in place the type of mixed economy we need to maintain employment with the State, small enterprises, the community sector and inward investors playing their part.

``The Tánaiste herself has failed to deliver on her commitment to reduce insurance costs. She and her colleagues have also failed to put in place the essential infrastructure needed to sustain industry and to decentralise economic development from the east and south. These failures are major contributory factors to the job losses.

``New thinking is needed on the direction our economy should take and Sinn Fein will be taking up that challenge while resisting the plans of the Government to impose further cuts and to privatise State enterprises.''

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