Sinn Féin calls for positive action on Jobs Front

Figures released from the CSO for the first six months of the year show that unemployment in Ballymun has risen again since the same period last year. There was an average of 2,966 people on the live register in Ballymun in 2012 compared to 2788 for 2011. Sinn Féin Local Representative Noeleen Reilly has described the news as “alarming for the area” and called for

“concerted action by Government to reverse this trend.”

Ms Reilly said:

“Dublin Northwest is without doubt being neglected by the government.”

Ballymun has not only had their Regeneration budget slashed by €40 million recently but previously projects such as Metro North and The New Shopping Centre has also been shelved.

Dessie Ellis TD further added:

  • Sinn Féin is calling for a three year investment package in the region of €13 billion
  • This money would be focused on Infrastructure and new enterprises
  • The money would be sourced from the discretionary portfolio of the National Pension Reserve Fund matching funding from the European Investment Bank and an investment from the Private Pension sector
  • This fund would directly create in the region of 130,000 jobs over three years or an average of 40,000 jobs per year.

He further added ‘Something needs to be done about the level of unemployment in Ballymun.”

“There is a need for concerted action by Government to reverse this trend. Dublin North–West is at risk of returning to a 1980s cycle of long term inter-generational unemployment leading to greater levels of emigration and social deprivation.”

“There is a need for targeted measures to ensure that Ballymun is not left behind.

Scandal of 230,000 vacant homes during housing crisis

Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing Dessie Ellis TD has condemned as scandalous that 230,000 homes lie vacant across the state despite the fact that nearly 100,000 people are on housing waiting lists and 5,000 people are homeless.

He made his comments following the release of new figures on vacant housing published yesterday in The Roof Over Our Heads which is part of the CSO series of reports on the findings of Census 2011.

The deputy continued:

“The report found that despite such a great need for housing in the state no shortage exists. The report found 61,628 vacant apartments, up nearly 50% since 2006, and 168,427 vacant houses across the country. Dublin, which has the highest number of homeless people, has 16,321 empty apartments.”

“What is stopping people from being housed is the real lack of units available for them in public stock. Homelessness advocacy groups have called for a Housing First policy which has fallen on deaf ears with the government which is cutting spending on housing dramatically and shirking their responsibility. These vacant homes could in many circumstances be used to house people in the absence of a real investment in a social housing build but the government has failed to even make a considerable move on delivering the 2000 units promised from NAMA last year.”

“The government needs to wake up to the crisis in housing and to put in place a serious strategy to cut waiting lists and progress on their promise to end homelessness.”