CIF sets out plan to save jobs

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A RECOVERY plan put forward by construction employers to save jobs, generate increased government revenues and kick start economic recovery has been backed by The Mid West Branch of the Construction Industry Federation.
The CIF recently held an emergency meeting that brought together all of the major construction employers, including the major material suppliers, representatives of the architectural, engineering and surveying professions, major contractors and house builders.

Conor O’Connell from the CIF Mid West Branch outlined the key issues contained in the recovery plan drawn up by the CIF. According to Conor O’Connell, “infrastructure spending is the key to saving jobs, increasing exchequer revenues and providing a platform for economic recovery for the Mid West region.”    
“In the Mid West, construction currently employs in the region of 15,000 people directly, which is down by almost 10,000 people in two years. This does not include the thousands of people who are employed indirectly.  The sector in the Mid West also supports thousands of induced jobs in the shops, restaurants etc. where construction workers spend their wages.”  
“It was agreed as part of the recovery plan that urgent action is needed within the next month to protect these existing jobs. The prospect of thousands of job losses in construction throughout the Mid West and the entire country is real unless the pipeline of projects increases.”
“One of the major fears for construction employers in the Mid West relates to infrastructure spending and the possibility of further cuts in labour intensive projects arising from the upcoming budgetary measures. It is the view of the Mid West Branch that this would be the entirely wrong thing to do from the economy’s perspective resulting in increased social welfare costs and undoing any savings from upcoming budgetary measures.”
“As it is, 75% of infrastructure spending is already committed to ongoing or contracted projects and even a minor cut in spending would mean that virtually no new projects will start over the coming months.  In addition, spending on the pre-tender design, engineering and surveying has been significantly cut meaning a reduction in ready to go projects over the coming 12 months.”
Mr O’Connell said, “Now is the time for the Government to take advantage of the competitive tendering environment and to place an emphasis on labour intensity and projects that are vital for the local economy in the long term.”
“The payback to the state will be immediate. Research shows that every €100m spent on construction projects creates 1,000 jobs and generates nearly €50m for the exchequer through income, taxes and social welfare savings. Infrastructure improvements also ensure the future tax income of the economy by improving competitiveness and attracting inward investment.”