EU must step up to support workers and a swift recovery

02 April 2020

Responding to the latest live register figures, Labour Party Employment Affairs spokesperson, Ged Nash TD,  has reiterated calls for an EU “unemployment reinsurance scheme” to support a swift and inclusive recovery

Deputy Nash said:

“We have seen an explosion in unemployment figures today, with nearly 300,000 people receiving the emergency Covid-19 Pandemic payment.

“With nearly half a million people now receiving some form of direct social assistance payment, this will put huge pressure on the public finances.

“And this may only be the tip of the iceberg, as the live register figures exclude the most recent closures such as construction sites.

“To put this into context, unemployment figures which took years to fully crystallise after the financial crisis have now materialised in a matter of weeks with the coronavirus.

“It is an external shock like no other, and the EU must now play a central role in ensuring a swift and inclusive recovery.

Deputy Nash continued:

“The EU must now step-up to the plate to support workers through the crisis. Now is not the time for narrow self-interest or party-political ideology as we have unfortunately seen in some quarters.

“Instead we need a strong EU response which collectively shares the burden – such as the coronabonds proposals – if countries are to bounce back after the crisis.

“I particularly welcome Commissioner Schmitt’s proposed ‘EU unemployment reinsurance scheme’ which has been continuously pushed by the Party of European Socialists, the group to which Labour belongs.

“This is a practical step which puts solidarity into practice and can help address the surging unemployment being currently experienced in countries like Ireland.

“But sufficient financing and urgent implementation of this scheme is needed if we are to effectively stem the economic shock of the coronavirus and support an inclusive recovery.”

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