Sunday 25 February 2018

In plain 'apples and oranges', these figures are just bananas

We simply cannot afford to pay the cost of the bank bailout along with reckless government spending, writes Eamonn Blaney

THERE is so much talk of doom, gloom, builders, bankers, billions and going bust that it is very easy to lose sight of what it actually means for you and your family, in simple 'apples and oranges' terms. Nevertheless please bear with me, while I try to tease out the figures and put them into some meaningful context.

At the moment there are 450,000 people without paid employment out of a workforce of 1.9 million. Also consider that 460,000 of the total workforce do not compete for jobs or are in any danger of losing their jobs because they are our public servants. So, in the real world, the actual number of people available to work (or be made redundant) is 1,450,000 people. I'm sure even one of our overpaid bankers could work out that 32 per cent of the people in the "free labour market" are without jobs. That's right folks, the real rate of unemployment in this country among the wealth-creating sectors is 32 per cent or one in three.

I am not an economist, accountant, or a public servant but whatever way you look at it, 32 per cent is not the same as the claimed 13.4 per cent. The reason I bring your attention to this figure is that the only way that we can ever possibly get ourselves out of the present financial crisis is by creating wealth. By definition, the public service does not create wealth. In fact, a lot of its function should be to assist in the creation of wealth. But this is rarely the case as any small business owner will tell you.

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