Significant reduction in numbers signing on

by Ian Begley
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The Clondalkin Social Welfare office saw a drop of 16% in those signing on in Dublin Mid-West in 2014.
A total of 6,988 were registered in the Clondalkin office as of December 2014, compared to 8,277 in January, 2014.
The welfare office, which also accounts for people in Lucan, also saw 23 fewer people signing on in Clondalkin and in Lucan in December compared with November.
Minister Frances Fitzgerald welcomed the recent CSO announcement: “Confirmation of the ongoing fall in local unemployment is a great positive start to 2015 and gives jobseekers confidence for returning to work in the upcoming year. The Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work initiatives are working, with the IDA reporting an extra 27,000 people in work through their companies.
“Since this Government was elected in 2011, unemployment in our area has dropped by 34%. While the unemployment figures are still too high, it is a significant improvement from the crisis levels we saw and proof that our economic policies are working,” she said.
Clondalkin TD Robert Dowds (Lab), also added: “These figures mark the 30th consecutive month that the unemployment rate in Ireland has dropped.
“Unemployment now stands at 10.6% – its lowest level since 2009. In particular, I welcome confirmation that the number of long-term claimants fell by 8.3% in December year-on-year.
“This is a clear indication that the numbers of people securing gainful employment is steadily increasing and that Government strategies to get people back to work are gaining traction on the ground. Some 80,000 jobs have been created by this Government since 2011 and significantly, full-time employment is accounting for most of these.
“I am confident that the unemployment rate will continue to decrease as the Government sharpens its focus on its number one priority – job creation – in 2015,” said Deputy Dowds.
In response to these commendations of the latest live register figures, Clondalkin Cllr Eoin O Broin (SF) accused Minister Fitzgerald and Deputy Dowds of being “out of touch; with the reality of people’s lives”.
He said: “As always we do not know whether these people secured employment, emigrated, took up training or were simply cut off from their payments.
“However Government TDs have been falling over themselves with self-praise. Our local TDs are clearly ‘out of touch’ with the reality of people’s lives across Dublin Mid-West.
“This is hardly something to be celebrating. People are fed up of Government spin. They want real investment in job creation. They want properly paid employment. They want the abolition of the property tax and water charges and they want an end to the unfairness that has been the hallmark of this Government since taking office in 2011.”

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