The Government has produced another spin-driven investment announcement which will result in very few new jobs for at least two years. The earliest that we will see some of these projects commencing is towards the end of 2013, running to 2017 and beyond.
Public Expenditure Spokesperson Seán Fleming said: “Everyone welcomes news of a €2.25bn investment programme in the economy but many people would have expected to see this money going into projects that would start this year. Having to wait up to six years to see key elements of this programme is of no use to the almost 15% of the workforce that’s on the live register, or the record numbers of youth unemployed. It falls far short of the immediate shot in the arm the country needs.
“The Government cut capital expenditure by €750m this year alone and they plan to cut it by a further €550m in 2013. Today’s stimulus announcement will go nowhere towards filling the gap left by these massive cuts in capital expenditure announced by Minister Howlin last November. Overall the Government should at least maintain capital expenditure at 2011 levels. Even with this new stimulus programme they will not achieve this.
“The fact that Minister Howlin is now prepared to announce that Grangegorman is this Government’s ‘flagship investment project’ is astonishing considering it was this Government that withdrew its support for Grangegorman only last year. At that time, DIT and the team involved in Grangegorman announced that they would proceed with the project, even without Government’s support. The Government’s belated realisation of their initial mistake is welcome.”
Fianna Fáil Jobs and Enterprise Spokesperson Dara Calleary said: “If we are to be able to judge the success of the stimulus programme, running alongside it should be a ‘new jobs target’ for each project. This Government has a track record of launching job initiatives that don’t deliver any new jobs, and this announcement seems to be no different.”