INTREO has confirmed today that it has officially requested documentation from both Limerick and Waterford to prove that they are both activily seeking employment, stating that if they do not provide the relevant details their social welfare payments will be suspended.
The agency, belonging to Department of Social Protection, said it will give the counties 14 days from the date of notice to hand in the requested documentation, sending a wave of panic through the unemployment black spots.
“I could have sworn we sent a load of CVs to Dublin and Cork companies looking for work,” said Limerick Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon, who was now desperately searching the city’s sent folder, “there’s just nothing around here so how do they expect us to find a job when there are none. Now they want proof that we’re seeking work? In the good old days, we used to be able to just get a letter from Dell computers to say they wouldn’t even give us a job, but they’re gone now”.
Echoing Limerick’s panic, Waterford City Mayor Adam Wyse said he too was struggling to find proof the city and county is looking for work.
“I just hope they don’t make us do another ridiculous course for six months,” he said, now flicking trough old letters on his desk in the hope of finding a refusal letter from an employer, “last year they made the whole county do a Solas course on how to change a car tire. Not one person got a job out of it”.
Intreo’s letters come after the latest census figures show that the top 10 unemployment blackspots are in Limerick, with blackspots in the city and county having an average unemployment rate of 35.7%, while Waterford city and county blackspots have an unemployment rate of 31.5%.
“All we’re seeing is jobs being announced in Dublin this, jobs being announced in Cork that; when will the government start focussing on Waterford and Limerick again?” asked one of Waterford’s 17,000 unemployed, “they’ve left us for dead the last ten years and now want us to find work? And then shame us in the media for being disadvantaged. Get fucked!”