Saturday, February 28, 2009

Unemployment up by 70%

THE number of people unemployed leapt by almost 70pc at the end of last year, prompting calls for urgent action to stop the haemorrhaging of jobs.

The number of people out of work rose by almost 70,000 to 170,600 in the final quarter of 2008 with men bearing the brunt of the job losses by a factor of nearly four to one as construction work dried up, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The number of people working nationwide fell by 4pc, or almost 87,000, since the end of 2007 -- the largest decrease seen since the CSO first started its labour force survey in 1975.

The number of people working in Ireland is still over two million, but the unemployment rate has risen to 7.7pc and is now higher than the EU average.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Unemployment rate up to 7.7% at end of 2008

Ireland's official unemployment rate increased to 7.7% at the end of last year, according to the CSO's latest Quarterly National Household Survey.

The statistics agency says more than 170,000 people were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2008, an increase of almost 70% during the year.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sinn Féin to campaign for another No to Lisbon

SINN FÉIN has clearly signalled it will campaign for another No vote in the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking at the opening of the party’s Árd Fheis in Dublin last night, Sinn Féin’s Padraig MacLochlainn insisted Lisbon was the "wrong treaty" for Ireland and Europe.

Sinn Féin was the only party in the Dáil to campaign against Lisbon in the first referendum last year. Following the treaty’s defeat, the party said the No vote was a clear signal to the Government that the document had to be renegotiated.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Europe puts off Libertas decision

THE European Parliament last night postponed officially recognising the Libertas party after receiving a letter from the founder Declan Ganley.

Two weeks ago the parliament shelved a decision to recognise Libertas and grant it funding of more than e200,000 when two of the seven signatories said they never intended to support them.

Millionaire businessman Mr Ganley has now offered more names to the parliament president Hans Gert Pottering.

Mr Pottering has asked the parliament’s legal experts to investigate whether they can be accepted given that the deadline has passed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ruling allows refugees stay if they face serious harm at home

MANY more refugees afraid to return to their own countries should qualify to remain in Ireland following a ruling from the European Court of Justice which says they need only face serious harm if they return home.

As a result, an applicant does not have to prove he or she is specifically targeted if they return to their home country, but should only have to show that because of the level of violence he or she would be at real risk.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Swing in favour of Lisbon treaty

The latest poll shows that 51 per cent would now vote Yes to the treaty in a referendum, an increase of eight points since the last Irish Times poll in November, with 33 per cent saying they would vote No, a drop of six points. There are still 16 per cent in the “Don’t Know” category (down 2 points). When undecided voters are excluded, the Yes side has 60.7 per cent, with 39.3 per cent in the No camp. That compares to the referendum result last June of 53.4 per cent No and 46.6 per cent Yes.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Immigrants not factored into job loss estimates

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen's prediction last Wednesday that unemployment could hit 400,000 by the end of this year came despite the Government making no provision for Irish and non-Irish nationals who may leave or enter the country as a result of the global downturn, the Sunday Independent has learned.

Given the failure by government officials to factor in any estimates on the expected outflow of workers who lose their jobs during 2009, Mr Cowen's grim forecast could yet turn out to be hopelessly optimistic to the tune of tens of thousands.

For in the case of non-Irish nationals from Eastern Europe, being unemployed in Ireland could still present a more attractive option than a return to one's home country.

The weekly entitlement to jobseeker's benefit stands at over €200 per week here and matches -- and in some cases outstrips -- professional salaries in EU accession countries such as Poland and the Baltic states of Lithuania and Latvia.

Taxpayers to fork out an extra €2bn next year

TAXPAYERS are likely to have to stump up an extra €2bn from next year as part of the government's plans to bring order to the public finances. It is expected that around half of the planned €4bn "adjustment" in the public finances for 2010 will come from extra taxes.

Informed sources say that the introduction of carbon taxes and increases in in-come tax rates are both "inevitable", while a property tax on every home in the country is "a distinct possibility".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Unemployment is now at 9.2%

The Taoiseach has said that unemployment could reach 400,000 by the end of the year.

Brian Cowen was speaking after revealing the highest monthly increase in unemployment in more than 40 years.

Mr Cowen told Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny that an extra 36,500 people joined the dole queues in January, bringing the unadjusted jobless total to 327,900.

Deputy Kenny said the figures were horrendous, the worst in the history of the State, and that the Government's proposals yesterday did nothing to offer hope or confidence to those who had lost their jobs.

European Parliament puts Libertas funding on hold

An application from Libertas for funding as a political party at the European level has been put on hold.

The European Parliament is authorised to grant funding to parties which satisfy rigorous requirements to show their European qualifications.

An Estonian MP listed as backing Libertas's application now insists that he had not signed any document.