February 2013        

2013: the continuing of the great scattering

The economic crisis continues to take a heavy toll on working people across the board, while the spoofing from Government ministers, in particular from the Labour Party, continues to talk up the “recovery” under way. The mix of Government policies is working, and the icing on the cake will be a deal on the bank promissory note.
      The recent reports from the Central Bank and the ESRI have both revised their growth forecasts downwards for 2013, and neither sees any improvement in the job situation. The ESRI is predicting that employment will remain unchanged, at about 1.83 million, and will rise by 7,000 during 2014. Growth in employment has been focused on the private sector, in particular in the exporting transnational sectors.
      The Government, Central Bank and ESRI figures are all predicated on a growth of exports into the extremely sluggish economies of the European Union, Britain, and the United States.
      The EU, the British government and the Obama government in the United States are encouraging the same argument: that growth in employment will come about through increased exports. So if they are all exporting, who will be importing?
      At the same time the state is promoting early retirement from the public sector. More jobs will be lost in the public sector than can be replaced in the private sector. So it is a spiral downwards in regard to jobs and job losses.
      There are 429,000 people registered as unemployed who sign on at Social Welfare offices—despite the fact that the minister for “social protection,” Joan Burton, claims that the figure is 324,000.
      There are an additional 83,400 people on back-to-work and community schemes. Putting these figures together, we have more than half a million people looking for and needing work.
      The Government’s great initiative for this year was the “Gathering”—an appeal to the Irish people who were forced to leave the country to look for work, generation after generation, to come home for their holidays, to spend money and boost the economy, while at the same time emigration denudes the towns and villages of our youth and young families. Those who can walk are being pushed onto every available plane out of the country. This is clearly seen in the fact that unemployment in the 25–30 bracket has gone down, because of the mass emigration of our youth.
      The population of the Republic grew by 341,900 between 2006 and 2011; but there were 48,900 fewer between 20 to 24 in 2011 than there were in 2006, 12,300 fewer between 25 and 29, and 9,900 fewer between 15 and 19. The great Scattering grows apace.
      The economic and social policy of this Government is to drive the greatest possible number of people, in particular our youth, out of the country as quickly as possible. This has always been their answer to their failure to create a sustainable economic base.
      What is clear is that capitalism itself cannot create stability, nor the tens of thousands of jobs required. Stability and job creation will be achieved only with the establishment of a planned economy and a society organised to meet the needs of the people and the environment.

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