Belfast Telegraph

Policy forces emigration says union

The Government has been accused of a policy of forced emigration which will sacrifice children's futures.

With 100,000 people expected to leave over the next four years, the Unite trade union said current budget policy was based on plans for mass emigration unseen since the 1980s.

The body said the Government was paying lip-service to job creation.

Jimmy Kelly, regional secretary, said: "Their actual policy is one of forced emigration that could be considered as generation cleansing, and which will not be accepted by Irish voters if they are given a say in their future."

While unveiling details about December's budget, the Department of Finance revealed it expects 100,000 people to emigrate up to 2014.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said Ireland is not facing the prospect of a repeat of the huge exodus of young workers in the 1950s and 1980s.

But Unite said the Government's estimates for job creation have been slashed from 155,000 by 2015 to 80,000.

"Yet still they forecast that unemployment will fall to below 10%," Mr Kelly said.

"This cannot be achieved without large numbers of those sons and daughters of Irish people being forced from Ireland's shores."

Mr Kelly said it was a betrayal of those people who worked hard to build the country up only to have their children need to emigrate.

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