Belfast Telegraph

Still further to go, says Gilmore

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has admitted there is still further to go to make economic recovery real in the lives of ordinary people.

The Labour Party leader also believes it is reasonable that there should be some sort of taxation relief for families if the country's finances improve.

Mr Gilmore and party colleagues are in Killarney, Co Kerry, where they will debate motions on a range of issues at their annual conference, including the property tax and medical card.

Delegates are also expected to elect a new party chairman to replace Colm Keaveney, who resigned from the party earlier this year.

Mr Gilmore said that it had been a difficult time for the public and for Labour in government.

"This time three years ago the country was broke, nobody would lend us money, we were losing 1,700 jobs every week," he said.

"This week we are about to exit the bail-out programme, we are creating over 1,200 jobs, and we are therefore in a much improved situation.

"But we are very conscious that there is still further to go to bring about recovery and particularly to make recovery real in the lives of the people."

Meanwhile, the Government is to consider laws on compulsory collective bargaining for all companies.

The decision was released on the eve of Labour's gathering in Killarney and a memo on the issue is expected to be discussed by Cabinet next week.

At present workers have a legal right to join a trade union, but employers are not obliged to negotiate with them.

Under the new terms companies will be obliged to negotiate with workers as a unit but not necessarily agree to meet with trade unions.

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