Quarter of families had members emigrate in last two years, TD says
Mattie McGrath calls for Minister to be appointed to deal with unemployment
Mattie McGrath said Fás, JobBridge, training programmes and back-to-education schemes were taking people off the live register. Photograph: David Sleator
The Government has been accused of failing young people with Ireland having one of the highest unemployment levels in the EU.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath said a quarter of Irish families had seen a close family member emigrate in the past two years and he called for a minister to be appointed to deal specifically with unemployment because too many departments were dealing with the issue.
Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton defended the Government’s position, however, and said 25,000 net new jobs had been created in the last year.
The live register was down for the 12th month in a row, with unemployment reduced from 15 per cent to 13.6 per cent, he said. In addition €2.5 billion had been provided for enterprise expansion, he said.
Mr Bruton said Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton would shortly announce a scheme to provide employers with €72 weekly if they take on someone unemployed for more than a year.
But Mr McGrath said it was Fás, JobBridge, training programmes and back-to-education schemes which were taking people off the live register.
He said: “It’s easy knowing none of you employed anybody because offering €72 to take on somebody after 12 months [unemployment] is a pittance. You don’t understand what makes employers think, Minister.” The Minister accusing him of being in a “time warp” of criticism with no worthwhile solution.