Government Needs to Rebalance Dependence on Foreign Tech Multinationals” – Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín has responded to layoffs in both Facebook and Twitter.
Speaking today, Peadar Tóibín said “First of all the government need to make sure that foreign tech companies adhere to Irish worker’s rights law. Workers deserve to be treated with respect and firing by email is complete disrespect. We need to ensure that workers receive the proper compensation for any loss of employment”.
“Secondly the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise needs to stop sitting on his hands. He as stated that he is available to meet with Tech company management to save jobs. His time is a little off. These conversations should have happened weeks ago. Leo Varadkar needs to be proactive. Being available is not good enough. He needs to be knocking on doors right now”.
“We in Aontú have asked the Minister for Enterprise who has he met with to date within the tech sector to discuss specifically the threat to Irish tech sector jobs, who has he met with within Twitter, Facebook and Stripe to discuss saving jobs in Ireland and what plan has the Minister for Enterprise to grow the stickier indigenous tech sector and general enterprise sector. We have had no answer yet”.
“Twitter is expected to cull as much as half of its workforce in Ireland, there are 390 job loses expected from Facebook and yet the Government has not taken any concrete action to ameliorate the situation. This is coming at a time when the Government has been repeatedly warned by the Central Bank about an over reliance on the cooperation tax in spending. The Department of Finance’s Annual Taxation Report stated that one of Ireland’s most important sources of revenue, corporation tax is now highly concentrated around handful of big companies. This creates a significant exposure at the heart of the Irish tax system. 500,000 taxpayers and just 10 firms account for 1/3 of the total tax take last year. While the Tech sector accounts for 7% of jobs it accounts for 12% of all income tax receipts. If these companies reduce activity significantly here it will create a hole in our budget. One that will cost in terms of delivery of vital public services and investment in infrastructure”.
“The Tech sector is also one of the biggest occupiers of office space in the country and Facebook are now talking about terminating leases early. Over dependence on the FDI sector and our underdeveloped indigenous sector is a huge exposure. Indigenous business and enterprise is stickier. It is less mobile and will remain longer in the Irish market. It tends to be the poor relation in the Irish enterprise policy. For our long term economic sustainability this needs to be rebalanced”.
“Aontú are calling on Government to engage in physical conversations with the senior management at Meta and Twitter to resolve these issues. While foreign direct investment is an important aspect of the Irish economy, the Irish Government has neglected the indigenous tech sector for years. The government must develop the indigenous tech sector to avoid this happening again” Tóibín concluded