Fianna Fáil Jobs spokesperson Dara Calleary has said there is ‘little hope’ in this budget for those out of work.

Deputy Calleary said, “I am genuinely surprised and disappointed by the absence of creative thinking on job creation in this budget given the scale of the crisis.  The Jobs Minister Richard Burton has made a few modest announcements on supporting the job sector, many of which had previously been announced.  But any benefit that this could have achieved was completely undermined when the Social Protection Minister Joan Burton swooped in, doubling the minimum level of PRSI contribution from the self-employed and abolishing the redundancy rebate.

“While I welcome the fact that Minister Burton was forced to reverse her stance on pushing the cost of sick pay onto employers, she has still managed to badly hit those who create jobs.

“The biggest failure of the two Ministers today is the failure to have the Plus One initiative ready for the Budget.  How is it that everyone knew the Budget was due today, but the “Plus One” job creation initiative wasn’t ready to be announced? It seems from the Jobs Minister’s statement that it will be next year before it is ready. This is yet further evidence of the Government’s laissez-faire attitude to the jobs crisis.

“The Government failed to make any dent whatsoever in the jobs crisis this year. The Department of Social Protection needed an extra €235million this year because the Government did not forecast the numbers signing on the Live Register.  All the self-praise on Action Plans, all the headline-grabbing spin, all the triumphant press releases and the high-profile ‘announcements’ count for nothing against this reality today.

“This Budget is further evidence that there is a need for a complete of Department of Enterprise Jobs & Innovation. It is now apparent that all we got in 2011 was a meaningless name change.”