Coughlan defends handling of jobs crisis
TANAISTE Mary Coughlan yesterday attempted to deflect growing criticism of the Government's response to the jobs crisis.
Speaking at the announcement of 70 new jobs at Bell Labs in Dublin, Ms Coughlan admitted the latest figures were "disappointing".
But she moved to downplay their significance and said: "The Live Register does not reflect the reality of people who are unemployed.
"It includes people who are signing on for credit, people who do not have an eligibility entitlement (to benefits), therefore I always like to base our statistics on the Household Survey which will be available a little later in the year."
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan claimed the economy had "turned the corner" last December.
But Ms Coughlan also downplayed his remarks, adding: "He didn't say we'd come out of the recession, he said we'd turned a corner -- it's still a very fragile economy."
Despite the gloom, Ms Coughlan described the latest jobs announcement as a "hugely important investment strategically for Ireland".