State plays down report on jobs impact of Dell closure

A REPORT predicting almost 9,500 jobs could be lost in the mid-west region as a result of the closure of Dell’s manufacturing facility in Limerick was based on a “worse-case scenario”, according to the Government.

Details of the report prepared by Forfás, the state policy advisory body for enterprise and science, were published in yesterday’s Irish Examiner.

However, a spokesman for Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan claimed yesterday the report was based on a “worst-case scenario” that would see employment at the US computer manufacturer in Limerick fall by 2,510.

“It does not reflect what subsequently happened,” said the spokesman.

Dell formally confirmed 1,900 jobs were being axed at the Raheen plant in early January.

A further 100 redundancies among the company’s research and development staff in Limerick were announced last Friday.

However, the Forfás report, which was prepared by Adrian Devitt, the head of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment’s competitiveness and infrastructure department, makes no reference to a “worst-case scenario” and used information provided by a number of sources, including Dell, IDA Ireland and the Revenue Commissioners. It claims 2,510 permanent full-time workers would lose their jobs as a result of “Dell’s exit from manufacturing”.

The announcement of a further 100 redundancies has raised fears about the company’s continuing presence in the mid-west.

The Forfás report warns that the closure of Dell’s facility would indirectly result in the loss of almost 7,000 additional jobs.

The Dell redundancies alone would take up to e117 million of spending money out of the local economy, the report stated.

The overall job losses would cost the Exchequer e173m in reduced PAYE and PRSI contributions.

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