Evidence of tackling jobless crisis thin on the ground
DR James Reilly was the bete noire of the troika 12 months ago over his failure to control the spending in the Department of Health. With far less aplomb, Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has now taken on this role over her failure to advance social welfare reforms.
The latest review of the bailout from the European Commission this week showed a series of areas where the Government is failing to help unemployed people to get back to work.
Meanwhile, concerns are being raised at senior levels of Government about the long-term unemployed being trapped on the dole queues and never working again – unless there are radical changes.
A confidential cabinet sub-committee memo, obtained by the Irish Independent, shows further embarrassing failures in tackling the dole queues.
A target to reduce the average time on the live register from 21 months to less than 12 has been abandoned – after going in the opposite direction.
The interim target for last year was to bring the duration down to 20 months.
Instead, the actual outcome was an increase to 24 months.
This year, as the target continued to stray, the interim target was going up again to 25 months.
Ms Burton insists there is progress being made on a range of policy areas.
The evidence is thin on the ground.