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How can 'losing' 20,000 jobs help our economy?

When Nipsa was challenging the closure of local Vehicle Licensing Offices and the potential loss of 323 jobs, around 260 of which were based in Coleraine, all the local political parties and the local chamber for commerce joined in the campaign against closure.

Their opposition was informed, among other things, by a report from Oxford Economics, commissioned by the DoE minister at the time, which reported: "It will not only affect the public sector, it could also have an impact on the private sector, given the multiplier effects.

"This is likely to be severely damaging to businesses in NI, particularly given the current economic landscape.

"Given how relatively weak the local labour market is, the timing of this proposal could not be worse."

The "multiplier effect", they explained, effectively means that 1.5 jobs will be lost in the private sector for every public sector job cut.

The economists also indicated that economic inactivity and unemployment "is expensive for government, for taxpayers and for society as a whole".

Using "a conservative figure", they estimated that "a reduction in employment of 300 would represent a cost to taxpayers of £3m a year".

But now the same parties are looking to "lose" 20,000 such jobs in the next four years.

If something has happened in the economy that now makes this sensible, I think we should be told.

MICHAEL ROBINSON

Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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