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Expand what you have

News that the Government is taking the last €5 billion out of the National Pension Reserve Fund in order to ‘create’ 80,000 new jobs is nothing short of disturbing.

How many of us have heard the adage that it’s easier (and less expensive) to retain the customers you have than go out looking for new ones?

Whether we like it or not – through our taxes to the Revenue Commissioners – we’re all the Government’s ‘customers’.

So the same applies to jobs in the hospitality industry, an industry  that’s simply been neglected by default and if anything, treated as a cash cow by Governments present and past, a major factor in the closure of so many outlets.

Through a number of different platforms and by a number of different routes, the drinks industry has pleaded with Governments both present and past for a better future – but it seems that the Government continues to prefer spending vast amounts looking at ‘creating’ new jobs instead of ‘reinforcing and expanding’ employment in the ones that have already exist at much lesser cost.

While the Government could even be forgiven for keeping a foot in both camps – for there’s undoubtedly a need to progress our technological skills – ‘new’ jobs are, by their nature, an unknown quantity in terms of their longevity and return to the Exchequer some time down the road.

So why not take heed of INIA Chairman Oliver Hugh’s words in this month’s 1&1 interview?

In relation to the multiples’ role in the demise of the on-trade he’d like to persuade a reluctant Government that “taking small money from foreign supermarkets is infinitely inferior to taking large money from indigenous Irish businesses which provide jobs”. In other words support this country’s already extant indigenous employers who offer more to the Government coffers.

 

And that, perhaps, is the direction in which this Government should be looking – to aid what’s there already and help it build up employment rather than sticking its employment neck out and taking a punt with our pensions on this country’s technological future.

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