Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has said Budget 2014 is littered with hidden cuts that will have a serious impact on jobs.
“When you strip away the PR of this budget, there are number of sneaky cuts that that will hit job seekers and employers next year,” said Deputy Calleary.
“In a move that will only fuel the brain drain from this country, the government has slashed the job seekers allowance for under 25s. Many young people looking at this announcement today will wonder where the incentive is for them to stay here to look for work? This cut will force more graduates and young job seekers out of the country.
“Small businesses are also facing more pressure as a result of Budget 2014. The government is doubling the employers’ liability for staff sick pay from 3 days to 6 days. This amounts to a €22 million hit for businesses. Meanwhile, there is only a token mention of the credit crunch affecting small businesses with no targeted measures that will finally see viable SMEs getting the credit the need to stay in business and create jobs into the future.
“On top of this, Minister Noonan’s well publicised ‘build your business initiative’, aimed at promoting initiatives at the Department of Jobs, comes on the back of a 19% cut in that Department’s promotional budget.
“There is also a significant reduction in support for the state job agencies, the IDA and the Enterprise Ireland, through a €15 million cut in the capital budget at the Department of Jobs and Enterprise.
“The government has missed a real opportunity in this budget to encourage entrepreneurship, to take the pressure of employers and to provide some real opportunities for young people leaving school and college.”