Saturday 21 January 2017

Specifics needed on Bruton's job plan

Published 19/07/2011 | 05:00

LAST March, Joan Burton lost out in the competition among the leading personalities in the Labour and Fine Gael parties for the most prestigious jobs in the new Government. She had to content herself with the renamed Department of Social Protection. Typically, and greatly to her credit, she set about making the best of it.

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She cannot have taken long to find that the best was not very good. Unemployment now stands at almost 460,000. Last year's school and university leavers came on the labour market in the most unfavourable conditions for decades. This year's could fare even worse.

And she has little or no money to spend to alleviate their plight. Her department, like all departments, has to make a contribution to repairing the public finances. It faces tighter budgets -- at a time when unemployment payments are soaring in tandem with the jobless figures.

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