'Jobless levels are down because so many people are leaving'
PAUL Lynch (34) is an unemployed father of a six-month-old baby boy who is considering emigrating. The qualified plumber feels there is little chance for him to pick up work in Ireland over the next few years.
"The minister spoke about exports being the biggest success. The biggest export so far has been people.
"The unemployment levels are down as there are so many people leaving the country.
"I am considering emigrating. I was looking at Germany, Canada, at everywhere really. I really don't want to be leaving here. To do anything it would really involve me going alone and then bringing the rest of my family.
"Politicians are still the highest-paid in Europe. Reducing their pay by €10,000 is a token gesture.
"I'm currently receiving no money from social protection.
"I was told my wife earns over the earnings limit and we are entitled to nothing.
"The black economy is my only income at the moment. It is friends who know I'm not working and give me jobs.
"No one is hiring, while the price of everything has gone up.
"Those work-placement and training places just take people off the live register. The minister mentioned incentives for energy efficient homes.
"I've already done loads of courses in renewable energy, there is no work in it. A retro-fit costs more than people are willing to pay.
"It has got to the stage between petrol hikes and everything else that I won't be able to afford to go anywhere. I referee children's games at the weekend but I'm going to have to stop doing that.
"The only one I could really credit will create jobs is keeping the 12.5pc corporation tax. I hope that will bring a little bit of construction work in."