Written Answers. - Measures to Tackle Unemployment.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

33 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if, in view of the social problems arising from rates of unemployment of 30 per cent upwards in many urban areas, he will ensure that all the resources of Government, that is training, amenity and environmental, security and job creation, are directly targeted at such areas during the life of this Government and under the aegis of the National Development Plan, 1994-1999; and his views on whether this approach is cost-effective and beneficial.

A central objective of the National Development Plan is to reintegrate the long term unemployed and those at high risk of becoming so into the economic mainstream. This objective will be implemented through the range of Operational Programmes under the plan. The Local Development Programme outlined in the plan includes measures targeted specifically at areas characterised by high concentrations of long term unemployment, social exclusion and environmental deprivation. This will build on and extend to new areas the Programme for Economic and Social Progress initiative of area-based responses to long term unemployment through a partnership model. I am satisfied that the investment measures outlined in the plan are beneficial and will be implemented in a cost-effective manner.