We must now confront the scourge of unemployment


Remarks by Willie O’Dea T.D., Dail Éireann – Wednesday October 27th 2010

Statements on Macro Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

We must now confront the scourge of unemployment: Having a job does more for a person than a legion of social workers

 During his contribution to the debate Willie O’Dea, T.D. said:

“The Government is rightly committed to implementing its austerity programme over the next four years. The EU and the markets are expecting us to take these tough measures, failing to implement these would have drastic consequences.

However, it would be disastrous to have an austerity package on its own – it must be accompanied by a stimulus package. It can not be the same type of stimulus package we tried during the 1970s – that was both unaffordable and unworkable.

There are two reasons why we need a stimulus package:

  1. Economic growth as we cannot stabilise our debts without economic growth
  2. We must now confront the scourge of unemployment: a catastrophe for its victims and society as a whole.


Having a job does more for a person than a legion of social workers. It restores dignity and sense of self worth. We risk standing on the threshold of an unplanned social experiment of how mass unemployment affects crime, domestic violence, drug abuse, suicide and a litany of other social pathologies.

Over the past few months I have suggested a number of new ideas and policy initiatives to generate achievable growth and sustainable activity, namely:

  • Allowing business owners to access credit through their pension funds
  • A workfare scheme to get 100,000 unemployed back to work
  • New approach to help people tackle their mortgage arrears
  • Entrepreneur visas to encourage development of new businesses
  • Reliefs to free up money held on deposit as working capital for viable businesses
  • Radical Reform of our Bankruptcy Laws
  • Measures to help migrating graduates to return with new skills and knowledge


Austerity alone without a plan for jobs can only lead to ruin


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