Fianna Fáil Spokesman on Jobs Willie O’Dea has said the Government is complicit in the 2,500 job losses at AIB and “far from trying to protect employment is pushing more and more people out of work.”
Deputy O’Dea said: “Yet again we have a situation where thousands of jobs are to be lost at a major company and workers here about it on the news. Does anyone in this Government or in AIB have any sense of what that does to people? And the staff in AIB still won’t know today whether they’re job is being targeted.
“This Government appears to be on a job-destruction agenda. They’re own progress report on a year in office looks at the issue of the banks and boasts that, ‘The Government is ahead of schedule in its efforts to shrink the size of the covered banks.’ So not only are they not doing anything to stop these job losses, they are congratulating themselves for the pace at which they’re getting rid of people.
“Given that the Government owns AIB it is clear that these job cuts could not and would not have been planned without Minister’s knowledge and sign-off. Just how small is the banking sector going to be under this Government and how many more jobs are going to go?
“The reality of the situation is that the Government has no real coherent plan to create jobs and tackle the unemployment crisis. 12,500 more people are unemployed now since Fine Gael and Labour came into office. Despite the Jobs Initiative, NewEra, and the Jobs Action Plan the Government’s actions in other areas are having a greater and negative effect on jobs. Take for example cuts to capital spending which will cost 9000 jobs and their 2% VAT hike is hitting small business and families. Most troubling at the moment is that the number of people who are long-term unemployed has gone up again and now stands at 60%. The Government needs to be more active in creating employment and less active in cutting jobs that already exist.”