The JFK festival showed what New Ross is capable of delivering.
Unfortunately behind the glamour and prestige of what was a hugely successful event lies a world in which four out of five local families have been directly affected by the unemployment crisis. We need to get this town and district working again, and to do that we need the show the same spirit of innovation and creativity that was evident in the planning and execution of this year’s JFK festival.
In the last couple of months New Ross Sinn Féin has been compiling a Employment and Emigration Survey in order to better understand that effects of the recession on this district. Now the results are in and they make for grim reading. 78% of those surveyed answered yes when asked if either themselves or a family member was currently unemployed. Of those that were out of work, 71% stated that they were unemployed for more than one year.
60% of those questioned stated that a member of their immediate family had either been forced to emigrate or was thinking of doing so in the near future. The most compelling statistic came from asking those surveyed were they satisfied with the governments action to tackle unemployment. 93% answered no. 81% said that they government needed to introduce a realistic job creation programme immediately to kick start our economy.
We also surveyed several businesses in the New Ross area and found that there was unanimous support among them for changes to be made to the current PRSI rules to create a safety net for the self employed.
New Ross will recover from this recession. We will get our unemployed back to work and we will create the conditions for businesses within this district to flourish once again, but to do this we need help. The government must put the money earmarked in the NPRF for job creation to proper and efficient use.