The growing unemployment
rate presents a greater challenge to this country than the plight of the banks according to the Workers’ Party.
Party President Michael
Finnegan, reacting to the latest unemployment figures published this morning which show 354,000 people on the Live Register,
said that the government has become fixated with saving the banks to the exclusion of all other issues including an unprecedented
and spectacular growth in the number of people out of work.
“Fewer people out
of work means fewer people paying for the running of the government and the burden will become more unbearable on the PAYE
sector. Forecasts of half a million on the Live Register in the near future are
now tripping off the tongues of economists without any apparent appreciation of the disaster that would be for the nation
as a whole”, said Mr. Finnegan.
“Workers in both
the public and private sectors are being asked to shoulder the cost of the failure of the economic system virtually alone. While the government and opposition argue about what can be done to bridge the hole
in the economy, nobody seems prepared to take on big business and increase corporation tax.
We continue to have among the lowest levels of corporate taxes in the European Union but there is an attitude that
they are sacrosanct. The same goes for the many tax loopholes that continue to
exist and that are ruthlessly exploited by a wealthy elite. Clearly this generous business tax regime has not prevented the
haemorrhaging of jobs from the economy and the level of tax avoidance in this country is still very high. It is now time to deal with this sacred cow and to increase corporation tax”, the Workers’
Party president declared.
Issued 4th March 2009