Eircom job losses proves the folly of privatising strategic state assets

Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has described the announcement by Eircom that it is to cut 830 jobs as further proof that privatising strategic state assets is bad news for the domestic economy.

The announcement forms part of a wider plan by the telecommunications operator to shed 2,000 jobs by next summer.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“Eircom’s announcement provides further evidence that privatising strategic state assets simply doesn’t work. The loss of 2,000 jobs is bad news in itself, but this announcement is set against this government and the lasts woeful record on broadband delivery.

“Eircom’s announcement must give pause to Labour and Fine Gael’s plans to privatise state assets, particularly those in the energy sector.

“Government Ministers need to ask themselves if privatising Eircom has delivered for the citizens of this state. Under-development of the broadband network, when compared with other EU countries and particularly for businesses based in rural Ireland, remains a perennial problem.

“Ireland is a small open economy and the notion that government and policy makers can abandon appropriate development of critical infrastructure to the market is quite frankly nonsense.

“Just last week Minister Rabbitte told the Seanad he stood over the government’s decision to sell off Bord Gáis Energy.

“Let’s not forget that real concerns also remain regarding government’s long term intentions for Irish Water, which could see a massive transfer of state property including treatment plants and water infrastructure to private interests.

“The Troika may be leaving but it is clear its mind-set remains amongst the government benches. Selling off the family silver to plug the hole of bad banking debt makes no sense. Privatising strategic state assets makes no sense.

“Government needs to ensure polices it pursues promote investment in strategic and critical infrastructure, not undermine it. Lessons must be learnt from past mistakes.” ENDS