Fianna Fáil’s Agriculture spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuiv is raising serious question marks over Government claims that 61,000 jobs were created in the economy in the past year. Ministers have been repeating the claims in the Dáil over the past two weeks, during their statements on Government Priorities for the Year Ahead.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “The level of propaganda rather than analysis should be a matter for great concern. In the last week, Minister of State Paschal Donohue again claimed that 61,000 jobs were created over the past 12 months.
“The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office claim that the largest employment increases were recorded in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, with almost 30,000 jobs created. However, the agency acknowledged that employment in these sectors can be sensitive to sample changes over time.
“Part-time farmers can be included in these figures, so although they don’t work all year around, they are considered to be employed in the agriculture sector. Looking at the single farm applications, it’s clear to see that the numbers are not significantly different from the year before. In effect, these people are being used to beef up the employment numbers and spin a false impression of how well the economy is doing.
“It’s wrong to allow the Government to make claims about job creation that are simply not true. People stuck in the social welfare system know that they’re false, and I want Ministers to acknowledge that they are creating a false impression. I estimate the true figure for employment last year came to 30,000, half of what the Government has stated”.