The JobBridge scheme has now been extended so that employers may have access to state-subsidised labour for up to 18 months. This extension makes plain what was only previously suggested- that the scheme is part of a wider, deliberate, effort to depress the economy.
Internal Devaluation is the primary (possibly only) financial policy guiding the Irish State’s actions. Internationally, this is not a controversial opinion (though you won’t see it much discussed or debated in the domestic arenas).
A definition of Internal Devaluation:
Its goal is to reduce prices relative to other countries by cutting employment and wages and by introducing structural
policies (especially labour market and welfare state liberalization) aimed
to increase wage and price flexibility.
– Ind Law J (2012) 41 (3): 254-275. doi: 10.1093/indlaw/dws029
I wrote about it in 2011 for the PressEurop blog:
Normally, you devalue by decreeing suddenly that your currency is now worth less against all other currencies. Outsiders can suddenly afford more of the stuff you sell, so you get a bit of a boost.
But Ireland can’t decree that the euro is now worth less. So, the alternative is to force everyone in the country to just charge less – for everything: lower wages, less fees, lower prices – the works.
Extending the size and scope of the JobBridge labour pool acts to further promote deflation by driving down wages by offering private companies a government-subsidised no-cost workforce.
Before JobBridge was announced, back in 2010 Fergal asked how such a scheme could end
at what time is it proposed that the social welfare recipients thus employed will take the step up to full employment? Why, and when, would a company who are getting staff for free suddenly decide to start paying one of them?
If your primary policy is internal devaluation, the main tool available is to maintain an elevated unemployment level .
Citing JobBridge as a scheme to lower unemployment is disingenuous.
Its main effect was always to do the opposite. I think that this latest extension means we can now fairly say that was the intention all along.