Irish Republican News · February 13, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Support for coalition crashes amid jobs crisis

Fianna Fail has now slumped into third place behind Fine Gael and the Labour Party in the latest poll of public opinion in the 26 Counties.

The slide in Fianna Fail support comes in the wake of its plan to impose a pensions levy on all public service workers, regardless of income, and a range of cuts targeting poor and vulnerable sectors of Irish society. It is the first time the party has not registered among the top two most popular parties in the 26 Counties, with most of its support switching to Labour.

Support for the Fianna Fail coalition government, maintained for over a decade on the back of the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom, is now collapsing in tandem with the crashing Irish economy. Brian Cowen, the former Finance Minister and now Taoiseach, is being held responsible by the public for generating the imploding ‘Celtic Bubble’, particularly in construction and property valuations.

Ireland’s trade unions have already planned a national day of demonstration against the government’s proposals for tackling the recession on Saturday, February 21st, in Dublin.

Other protests will be held at later dates throughout the country.

The protest will not just be about the recent pension levy that will be imposed on public servants, but the collapse of the social partnership and labour agreements which underpinned years of growth in the Irish economy.

The loss of 1,300 jobs at Dublin Airport -- with the closure of the Dublin base of airline maintenance firm SR Technics and Ryanair redundancies -- are just the latest in a torrent of such announcements.

On a visit to Kilkenny, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has said that with the rapidly rising unemployment figures the government urgently needed to deliver a job retention and creation strategy. Mr. Adams criticised the government for failing to deliver a strategy to get Ireland back to work.

“The Government’s approach to the current job losses must change,” he said.

“Central to this new approach must be the frontloading of critical infrastructure projects and the fast tracking of business start-ups. We also need to grow our indigenous export market. We need to rebuild the Irish economy.”

“With unemployment across the state now reaching a scale not seen in many, many years the primary goal of the Government’s economic recovery plan must be to safeguard the livelihoods of low and middle income workers and to urgently deliver a job retention and creation strategy.”

“A university campus in Kilkenny would also have the potential to attract research and development facilities to the city and it is in this field that much potential lies in developing the Irish economy of the future.”

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© 2009 Irish Republican News