Governments Do – and Must – Create Jobs

The Government’s 2013 Plan for Jobs proposes what it calls “disruptive reform.” I would read “disruptive reforms” as a signalling of the government’s intention to punish the unemployed and force them into low-paid and unpaid jobs or leave them starve and unable to provide for themselves, heat their homes, drive them further into poverty, etc.

Once again the government sees the only solution to the unemployment crisis to be the throwing of more money at the business sector to create jobs they’re not interested in and to kick the unemployed and the poor. Bruton’s talk of a plan to retro fit houses with insulation will also fail in terms of job creation – instead of allowing local authorities to employ workers directly it will be farmed out to builders who will sub-contract it and it will then be further sub-contracted so that by the time the actual workers get paid it will be peanuts.

There is no jobs strategy. The government have repeatedly stated that “it is not the government’s job to create jobs, only to create the conditions for employers to create jobs” . Until this mentality is swept away then unemployment will remain stubbornly high. Every government in the state, from 1922 to the 1980s recognised that yes, the government did have an obligation to create jobs. That is part of the reason that companies like the ESB, Bord na Mona, Coillte and its predecessors and all the other state and semi-state companies were set up. Yes to create electricity, harvest peat and timber but also to create jobs. This was recognised as a key role of government until the arrival of Thatcherite Garret Fitzgerald in the 1980s. Even Lemass, who began the love-affair with the multinationals, recognised that there would never be enough jobs created by them and by native businesses and that the state, must also create jobs.

The government also continues to pile all of its eggs into one basket with the almost sole concentration on ICT and pharmaceuticals and on jobs for senior graduates.

Prometheus 26 February 2013

Coillte Panel Products – 1000s of Jobs Depend on Irish Timber

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