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Unemployment crisis is creating a social disaster

Sinn Féin General Election candidate Councillor Maurice Quinlivan has expressed his concern that the continued frightening levels of both youth unemployment and long term unemployment are creating a social disaster for which Fine Gael and the Labour Party should be held accountable.

Councillor Quinlivan was commenting on CSO figures which show that over half of those unemployed are long term unemployed while youth unemployment, despite a marginal decrease, still stands at 20.6 percent.

"It is a damning indictment of this government's jobs strategy that over half of unemployed people are long term unemployed. Fine Gael and the Labour Party are also tolerating a frightening level of youth unemployment which stands at 20.6 percent.

"After nearly five years in office, this government's approach to unemployment is failing many people. It is clear that their version of a recovery is not reaching all sections of our society.

"I am very concerned that government inaction in these two areas is creating a social disaster. The longer somebody is unemployed the more they feel isolated and marginalised from society. Equally, younger unemployed people suffer from a variety of pressures which contribute to a sense of hopelessness. The perspective of this government is undoubtedly ageist and you can see why thousands of younger people have felt the imperative to emigrate.

"The government is happy to trumpet on about this state having the fastest growing economy in the EU. However, I do wonder what message government TDs are sending to the long term unemployed and young unemployed in Limerick while they are patting themselves on the back. They seem to be saying, 'this recovery is not for you. We are moving on without you.'

"This government has set an economic course that is centred on leaving certain people behind. Their agenda is to achieve 'top-sheet' figures which, at first glance, indicate progress but, when you delve a little deeper, the truth of the very real and very present unemployment crisis is revealed.

"The unemployment crisis has not gone away. We need progressive solutions aimed at alleviating pressures on unemployed youth and improving opportunities for the unemployed.

"I am genuinely concerned that a continued lack of action, on the part of the government, will see the foundations laid to a social disaster that will see the futures of many people wasted."