29/09/2010

Parties War Over Job Creation

A war on jobs has sparked between the three main parties over the Government's claim it would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Yesterday the Taoiseach established a Government target to create 300,000 jobs based on growth in the global economy along with a new plan 'Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy', which sets out specific job creation targets aimed at bringing about a 30% increase in exports.

However, ahead of today's return to the Dáil from the summer recess, Fine Gael have rubbished the plan as a "PR joke" claiming it contained "no funding, no new policies, no new programmes".

The party's communication's spokesman, Leo Varadkar, said it was a farce to claim more jobs would be generated than at the height of the boom, adding that the only thing he suspected would by created by Fianna Fáil was "yet another quango".

“The truth is that this Government lost over a quarter of a million jobs since 2007 with another 100,000 having been forced to leave the country to find work. That’s their record and it is beyond disappointing that, even at this late stage, the only response by Fianna Fáil is to put on another glitzy launch that contains no serious proposals,” he said.

Fianna Fail have hit back however, accusing "anti-jobs" Fine Gael of being "cynical and misinformed".

The Government Minister for Trade and Commerce, Billy Kelleher, said the plan aimed to create more than 150,000 direct new jobs in manufacturing, tourism and internationally traded services up to 2015.

Speaking this morning, Mr Kelleher said: "Over the period, IDA Ireland is targeting 75,000 new jobs by attracting an extra 780 foreign direct investment projects. Enterprise Ireland is targeting 60,000 jobs between now and 2015. In addition, Tourism Ireland envisages the creation of 15,000 new jobs.

"We expect to generate at least one spin-off job for every direct job created, bringing the total number of jobs over the lifetime of the plan to 300,000."

Meanwhile, the Labour Party have joined the row claiming Brian Cowen had "virtually ignored the unemployment crisis" since he was elected Taoiseach.

Speaking this morning, Labour's Willie Penrose said: "The unemployed know that there have been impressive sounding plans and initiatives launched by this government in the past that have come to nothing. We now need to see some results flowing from these plans.

"Today’s document is fairly typical of previous publications from the government. It is high on ambitious targets and very short on specifics as to how these might be achieved."

(DW/GK)

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