Fine Gael Dáil Deputy for Cork North West Michael Creed, has accused Enterprise Minister Batt O’Keeffe of being redundant as many unemployed people face an eight month wait for redundancy payments. In a correspondence received from the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Innovation, Deputy Creed has revealed that the redundancy section is currently working on claims, in general received over late December last year. Commenting on this backlog, Deputy Creed said;

“Having to wait eight months for a redundancy payment is unacceptable. The period immediately after becoming unemployed is difficult enough financially without the State adding a further impediment. The Department claim that the backlog is in the main due to lack of resources. The Department have revealed that “restrictions in pay budgets (including overtime) and staffing levels, it is proving difficult to restore customer service targets to the status quo ante”.

“I am calling on Minister O’Keeffe to address this issue. Surely resources can be redeployed to this section in order to alleviate this issue. It is unacceptable for those who are in most financial need to have to wait this long. Likewise the value of a swift payment of lump sum payments can be hugely beneficial to the economy as a whole. There are examples throughout the country of entrepreneurs using redundancy payments in order to exploit their skills and expertise to start up new businesses and create employment. Minister O’Keeffe’s failure to address this matter is stifling potential”.

“Of course this whole issue is just another symptom of the unemployment epidemic that this Government has created. There is little or no evidence emanating from Minister O’Keeffe’s office that this Government has the capacity or will to address the unemployment crisis that exists.”