New CSO figures just issued show that when adjusted for seasonal factors, the register rose to 207,300 in May. That's up 7,600 on figures for April and over 47,000 higher than May 2007. These figures indicate a massive 30% increase in one year as Ireland dips into recession. Job losses are now spread across the whole economy, not just the housing sector.
Ireland’s unemployment rate now stands at 5.4% - a half percentage point higher than at the start of the year.
The May Exchequer Return figures show that Ireland is headed for a €3 billion shortfall in taxes - on top of an already planned-for €5 billion Government deficit this year.
There has been a €10 billion reversal in our public finances. Ireland had a €2 billion surplus in 2006. Over the last two years the Government has increased its day-to-day spending by 65%. It must attempt to curb the increase in public expenditure at a time when unemployment has breached the psychologically important 200,000 barrier. It now has the worst of all worlds. Planned cuts will be painful and will trigger a backlash.
The massive increase in public expenditure contributed to the feel good factor, which helped to propel FF to election success in 2007. It is now time for retrenchment.
The 2007 General Election was the election to lose. FG and Labour politicians will thank their lucky stars.