SPEECH BY THE TÁNAISTE AND MINISTER FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION
JOAN BURTON T.D.
AT THE IMPACT PUBLIC MEETING ON HOMELESSNESS
20 SEPTEMBER 2014
Since the economic crisis first struck, we have seen a lot of families struggle to make ends meet, and paying for accommodation has become more and more difficult. The scale and depth of the crisis was such that, six years after the fateful bank guarantee, the people of this country are still dealing with the aftermath.
But as we move towards the end of 2014 and October’s budget, light is unquestionably breaking through. The Government has ensured an end to the economic crisis – figures released by the CSO this week demonstrate that, with growth up 1.5% in the second quarter. In all, we’re looking at economic growth of about 4.5% this year.
Numbers in employment are also increasing. Overall, employment has increased by over 75,000 since the beginning of 2012 and by over 30,000 last year. The current unemployment rate of 11.2%, while still far too high, represents a significant decline from its peak rate of over 15.1% in February 2012. So we are making progress.
Our challenge now is to ensure that the benefits of the economic recovery spread to every community, so that we have a social recovery too. A central part of this social recovery is ensuring that individuals and families have homes to live in.
And ensuring that, unlike in the boom – when money was in great supply but foresight was sadly lacking – we tackle societal issues like homelessness in a structured and serious way. (more…)