The Labour Party has the answers to the current jobs crisis, according to Cllr. Seán Ó hArgáin, member of Kilkenny Borough Council and candidate for Kilkenny Borough and County Councils. Launching the party’s ten-point jobs plan in the Village area of Kilkenny, Cllr. Ó hArgáin said that the issue was the major question being put on the doorsteps and called for an early General election to allow an honest debate on the future of our economy and country.
“Unfortunately, the local and European elections are being dominated by the economic issues. I have visited hundreds of houses in recent weeks where people have lost jobs or where young school-leavers and college graduates have no prospect of getting a job. These people are angry and despondent and are urgently looking for hope for the future.
The Labour Party has a clear programme for hope for these people, and I am calling on Government to implement this programme. We can see the difference between the hopelessness people feel here and the confidence in other countries like the United States that they will be ready when the upturn comes.
This Government has no plan for the economy, and nothing illustrates this like the mess around the creation of NAMA, where the man charged with heading it up admits he has no idea how it will work. What the people I am meeting on the doorsteps are saying clearly is that the Government has no mandate for what it is doing and that an election is necessary to allow an honest debate so that voters can see the alternative visions on offer. In Labour’s case we believe in the following things happening urgently:
1. Nationalise the banks for a limited period, and get credit flowing to small businesses.
2. Clear out the top management in the banks and establish a Banking Commission.
3. Set up a National Investment Bank to invest in our own future and create jobs.
4. Re-establish Eircom as a public interest company, and drive investment in broadband.
5. Give employers tax breaks to take people off the dole.
6. Set up a ‘Bridge the GAP’ work experience scheme for graduates & apprentices.
7. Help people working part-time to train in their time off through an ‘Earn and Learn’ scheme.
8. Launch a Skills Drive for people who have lost jobs, including tax-back for full-time study.
9. Boost confidence by guaranteeing that no home will be repossessed for two years.
10. Break the link between Fianna Fail and big business by limiting political donations.”
Cllr. Ó hArgáin concluded by calling for the County Development Board of which he is a member, and the city’s Municipal Policy Committee of which he is chairperson to be given a central role in addressing the jobs crisis in the city and county, saying that these agencies, along with the Borough and County Councils would lead the way out of the jobs crisis.