The employment figures released by the ‘Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency’ (NISRA) for March 2018 has once again revealed that the 6 counties remains the most economic deprived region in the ‘UK’
Figures have shown that only 69.8% of the north is employed, this is well below the ‘UK’ average of 75.3% and European Union (EU) average of 71.1%. A dramatic rise in private sector jobs combined with the economic crippling cuts at the behest of the Tory government in London has made the 6 counties job market extremely volatile. This was witnessed by the hundreds of job losses around Ballymena at the start of this year. Private companies who were recording profits, laid off workers to increase dividends for their greedy millionaire owners and shareholders.
Another frightening statistic has revealed that people living in the North are nearly 10% worse off in earnings than people living anywhere else in the ‘UK’. The average median wage in the ‘UK’ is £550 a week, whereas the average in the north is £500. With the rise of inflation and household costs, wages have dropped in real terms, while over 1000 new ‘millionaires’ were added to the economy last year, a clear indication that economic inequality is rising.
In the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum, the British government used the campaign slogan ‘Better Together’. These statistics once again comply with trend that while we live under the blight of partition mixed with our corrupt capitalist system the North of Ireland will remain economically shattered. Prosperity it seems is only allocated to the few while the working class remain in a crisis of unemployment and a lack of opportunities.
While the IRSP understand that ending partition as it stands will only mean the merging of two corrupt capitalist states into one, we envisage a nation inspired by the vision of James Connolly that no Irish Republic will serve the interests of the wealthy, but serve the needs and interests of the Irish Working Class.