The government has been accused of abandoning the unemployed in Waterford, despite 8,000 being added to the Live Register here in the last year. The charge is made by City Councillor Seamus Ryan (Lab) who said the situation nationally also makes grim reading, with 250,000 now unemployed, up by 100,000 in the last twelve months.
“While all this has been happening the government’s reaction has been ‘business as usual’, with no specific actions being taken in an attempt to curb the growing problem job losses”, he said. “Surely a more targeted approach is needed”, he suggested.
“The Budget was the perfect opportunity to introduce initiatives to help tackle the crisis. But the only action brought forward by the government was to make it more difficult to qualify for jobseekers’ allowance and restrict the period over which it is paid”.
He said his party had proposed a series of measures to combat the problem but they had been totally ignored by the government.
The proposals included a major school building programme to take 40,000 children out of pre-fabs and put them into proper classrooms.
The councillor added: “We have also proposed a national insulation scheme to make our housing stock more energy efficient, reducing carbon emissions and household fuel bills, as well as allowing people to work.
I’m calling on the government to intervene immediately by providing support to companies in trouble and intensify efforts to attract new companies to Waterford”.