The Department of Social Protection have launched their latest Jobs initiative spin called ‘Jobs Plus’. This is to replace Employer PRSI incentive and the Revenue Job Assist scheme. The idea, allegedly, is to encourage employers to recruit from the long term unemployed. The state is offering private companies €7,500 and €10,000 of taxpayer’s money to subsidise their wages bill. This plan represents the ultimate failure of the capitalist system. The great business and entrepreneurial class, who we are constantly told are the drivers of the economy, need not only your labour but also your money to run their business, makes you wonder if we’re doing the work and paying the wages what do we need them for?
Under the conditions of this scheme an employer who employs someone considered to be long term unemployed, will be given a state subsidy of €7,500 or €10,000, kindly supplied by the tax payer; yes the tax payer who is currently bailing out the capitalist banks to the tune of €64 billion and rising. The employer is only required to hire the person for four days a week or for 30 hours per week. On the department’s web site the details of the scheme are contained under the heading New Jobs, Less Cost. Indeed, if you are lucky enough get a job on this initiative at minimum wage for 30 hours per week you will make €259 per week €13,459 per year of which the employer will pay-out €8,494 for your years’ work.
This so called initiative is nothing more than an ideological smokescreen to cover up the crisis of capitalism. The tax payer will ultimately be funding yellow pack jobs with poor wages and conditions and the domestic economy will not recover as no new disposable income will be created. There is no real demand for skilled labour in the Irish or European economy, this scheme is aimed at unskilled workers who will no doubt be offered positions in the coffee shop market. Even if this initiative changed the profile of the dole queue it is only swapping the numbers between long term and short term unemployed. There are currently 290,000 people unemployed in Ireland with around 80,000 on schemes and 156,000 working part time. There are no new jobs, because the so called entrepreneur gambles his/her stolen money in financial products and not in production.
A much better idea for the ill named Department of Social Protection would be to call for the government not to issue the €25 billion in bonds – now being held by the Central Bank to pay for the Anglo debt. Use the money to get people back to work: every €1 billion invested in infrastructure creates 10,000 jobs. There is no shortage of productive and truly progressive projects that could be funded by a public works programme, housing, retro fitting, renewable energy projects, public transport to cut down over reliance on cars, real not for profit research into medicine and science. The national pension reserve has lost €20 billion of its funds in order to pay back the debts of discredited banks like Anglo. This was public money which was wasted instead of being invested. Don’t be fooled by Jobs Plus it is just another case of handing public money to the private sector.