Dáil takes equivalent of 27 ‘working weeks’ off for summer

As the Dáil broke yesterday (Thurs) for an elongated three-month holiday, a Waterford city councillor described the Government’s vote in favour of its usual vacation, plus a fortnight extra, as “disgraceful” in the current economic climate.

The Government motion to rise until September 29th next (as opposed to the usual mid-September) was passed by six votes. The 82-day break represents a full 27 ‘working weeks’ away from Leinster House, which only sits Monday – Friday.

Cllr David Cullinane, Sinn Féin’s by-election candidate, said last night that the length of the summer break is “shameless” at a time when unemployment continues to sky rocket and businesses teeter on the brink.

“What we need is a change of Government and not a change of leader within Fianna Fáil,” said Cllr Cullinane, whose party held a demonstration in Dungarvan last week over the jobs crisis, and is staging another today in Lismore.

Talk about turning a corner is fantasy, he asserts. “There is still no strategy coming from this government to create jobs. All Fianna Fáil’s ‘Smart Economy’ has delivered for the people of this island is a card to sign on. This summer, thousands of graduates are leaving universities, colleges and institutes of technology into an environment of uncertainty – there are no jobs, and the Government is trying to cut social welfare payments.”

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