Dáil Éireann - Volume 327 - 25 February, 1981

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Job Creation Cost.

6. Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance if he will give an estimate of the average capital cost in terms of public money for the provision of the 18,000 jobs which increased total employment for the year mid-April 1979-80 as referred to in the Government document entitled Economic Background to the Budget, 1981.

[216] Mr. Calleary: The increase of 18,000 in total employment for the year April 1979 to April 1980 is a net figure combining gross job creation with job losses during the period in question. The net improvement in employment, which arose in the manufacturing, building and construction and service sectors, resulted from private as well as public investment formed in that year and in earlier years. It would not be possible to identify the public capital expenditures associated with the investment involved.

Mr. Quinn: Is the House to understand that the Government are currently raising taxes and borrowing money abroad on the basis of a commitment to employment and can publish a document with our money stating that employment increased by 18,000 for the period I have given and the Minister does not know how it is being utilised or what the cost is per job?

Mr. Calleary: There are no official figures for either gross job creations or job losses. The figure of 8,574 notified redundancies probably understates the true level of job losses for the period April 1979 to April 1980. The Public Capital Programme for 1979 amounted to something over £1,000 million and the 1980 Public Capital Programme amounted to £1,270 million. These increases in the Public Capital Programme will have had a positive effect on employment but other factors, such as the level of private sector activity, and the general economic climate, were also important influences. Therefore, it would be impossible to attribute directly any net increase of employment in the period to the level of public capital expenditure or to put a cost per job on the jobs created.

Mr. Quinn: Can I take it, from the Minister's reply, if it is not possible to calculate it on that basis, that we do not have to believe any of the figures which the Minister put out in relation to job creation as a result of capital expenditure, since the Minister is not able to calculate what the cost per job is? Therefore, the Minister must not be capable of [217] projecting what the likely job creation content will be of any capital programme expenditure?

Mr. Calleary: I cannot help what the Deputy thinks.

Mr. Quinn: The Minister could answer the question. Is the House not entitled to ask if, on the basis that the Minister is incapable of answering this question, we are entitled to disregard any projected levels of employment arising out of capital expenditure on the basis that the Minister is incapable of calculating what the job cost is per job created?

Mr. Calleary: No. I answered a specific question. I said it was not possible in relation to the 18,000 by which total unemployment increased to say how much per job that cost, because of the various factors that were taken into account.

Mr. Quinn: It was related to the capital programme and the document was published with our money.

Mr. Calleary: The Deputy did not ask in relation to the capital programme.

Mr. Quinn: Look at the text.

An Ceann Comhairle: A final supplementary from Deputy Mitchell.

Mr. Mitchell: Could the Minister give a breakdown of the 18,000 jobs referred to? How many were created by the IDA, SFADCo, and Údarás na Gaeltachta? How much was spent by those three authorities during that period on job creation?

Mr. Callery: I have not got that information. I can give a breakdown of the various figures but I have not got the actual cost and how much money was allocated for the various bodies the Deputy mentions. If he likes I will give him the numbers where the jobs were created.