éirígí spokesperson and candidate for Belfast’s Lower Falls constituency in the upcoming Six County local government elections John McCusker has slammed the latest unemployment statistics for the west of the city.
According to statistics released by the Six County Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, West Belfast has the highest percentage rates of unemployment in the whole of occupied Ireland.
14.3 per cent of working age males and 4.1 per cent of working age females are classified as unemployed in the area. Overall, 8.9 per cent of those of working age are out of work.
McCusker said: “Yet again, West Belfast has been exposed as Stormont’s favourite economic backwater, a place where government bureaucrats and senior civil servants think there is an acceptable level of unemployment.
“The latest figures are indicative not only of the fact that the crisis in capitalism has left thousands of working people across the Six Counties on dole queues, but also of the fact that the Stormont administration is incapable of addressing the inequalities that were built into the Orange state.
“These disgraceful figures did not just spontaneously come about – they are the product of informed decisions taken by those who have their hands on the levers of influence and money. Decisions like Invest NI allocating West Belfast a paltry £19.8 million [€23.3 million] while pumping £773.9 million [€911.5 million] into East Belfast are what led to this part of the city having such a high unemployment rate.”
Responding to news that a total of 18,297 young people aged under 25 are unemployed across the North, almost one third of those on the official figures, McCusker added: “Only a few years ago, establishment politicians in Ireland and Britain were bumming and blowing about the end of boom and bust economics and the ushering in of zero unemployment rates.
“These same politicians have become extraordinarily quiet since the policies they followed led to the consigning of another generation of young people to life on the dole or into forced emigration.
“The lunatic economics that led to this situation must be rolled back, along with the vicious cuts the Stormont administration is beginning to implement. Building in working class communities, on the streets and in the workplaces we have left, we can start the fight-back.”
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