Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Job Creation.

1.

asked the Taoiseach if he will give a breakdown of the 5,100 jobs, additional to those provided for by the previous Government, which he has stated were created since the change of Government.

This information will be circulated in the document on the "Principal Features of the Budget" at the conclusion of the financial statement by the Minister for Finance later this afternoon.

Is the Government still claiming, as it claimed in June 1977 when in Opposition according to a report in The Irish Times, that there are 160,000 people unemployed? The recent White Paper said that there were 107,000 unemployed. Is the Government claiming now that since June 1977 they created 53,000 new jobs?

The 107,000 refers to those who are registered as unemployed. There is an unknown number of people who do not register for one reason or another and it is difficult to estimate. Our estimate of 160,000 was as accurate as we could make it at the time.

The Taoiseach is saying that 107,000 is not an accurate assessment of the present unemployment figure.

It is accurate.

Effectively that is what the Taoiseach is saying.

It is accurate as far as those who are registered are concerned, but I readily admit that there are thousands of others who are not registered and who do not figure in the 107,000.

Does the Taoiseach then say that the figure of 160,000 unemployed, claimed in 1977, is not an accurate figure that can be verified?

The Deputy is repeating himself. We have had enough.

I said that it was as accurate an estimate as we could make.

Was it not electioneering? It was completely irresponsible.

Question No. 2.

The figure was plucked out of the air.

It was not.

The Taoiseach said that the figure was unknown.

I said that it was as accurate an estimate as could be made. We made very accurate estimates before the election, and the results proved it.

(Interruptions.)

Would the Taoiseach say if the information which is to be circulated after the budget speech will state that there were 5,100 jobs created in addition to those which were provided for by the previous Government?

I suggest that the Deputy wait. That statement will be issued. It is not normal to give information in advance about that.

Question No. 2.

I would have thought that it was normal to reply to the question.