CIF: Cuts to construction projects will increase Live Register figures

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has warned that cuts to the Government’s capital construction investment programme will add further to the Live Register next year.

The CIF said that the cuts will also undermine other measures designed to stabilise the public finances.

CIF director general Tom Parlon said: "Cuts in nominal levels of current spending designed to stabilise the public finances will be undermined by further job losses, reduced tax receipts and increased social welfare arising from the cancellation or postponement of construction projects.

"A construction worker on the industry’s Registered Employment Agreement pay rates contributes €17,000 in taxes each year. A construction worker who loses their job costs the Exchequer €18,000 in social welfare payments, and of course his previous tax contributions and spending disappear.

"In addition, the failure to invest in necessary infrastructure damages the country’s future ability to attract inward investment. Clearly, therefore any decision to cut capital investment has implications long after it is made."

The CIF also pointed out that Government objectives around the creation of a 'smart' economy will be frustrated as a result of capital investment cutbacks.

Mr Parlon said: "You cannot achieve smart economic growth whilst stopping or cancelling projects required to make this happen. The need for improvements is evident across all public infrastructure headings - primary and post-primary education, the third level and research sectors, healthcare, public and private transportation, next generation broadband, and in the environmental sphere."

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