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.

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