THE Government aims to create nearly 50,000 jobs under plans unveiled on the back of the Budget.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton claimed that support from his department would help underpin as many as 48,000 new positions next year.
According to Mr Bruton, overseas companies that are brought here by the IDA will take on 12,000 new staff in 2014, while Irish companies backed by Enterprise Ireland will take on a similar number.
Those new jobs will then spur the creation of a further 20,000 roles in support services, it is predicted.
Small firms who are backed by county enterprise boards (CEBs) and local enterprise offices (LEOs) will take on an additional 4,500 staff, Mr Bruton claimed.
The numbers are part of a raft of measures in a Budget that Mr Bruton hailed as "pro-jobs and pro-enterprise".
The measures include:
* An income tax exemption for long-term unemployed who start a business
* Some €3.5m in funding for CEBs and LEOs
* The retention of funding worth €400m for Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) from various sources, including the European Union.
As well as those items, Mr Bruton said his department would "continue to focus on the jobs agenda, with continued support for €2bn in non-bank credit schemes for business and further new incentives for start-ups and small or medium enterprises".
Total public spending through EI and SFI is flat at €400m. EI client companies hope to increase their exports to €17.5bn in 2014, compared to the €16.2bn worth of goods that were sent overseas this year, while the Government will create a "health innovation hub".
Under the 'Start Your Own Business Scheme', people who have been out of work will be granted a two-year exemption from income tax if they start up their own company.
Meanwhile, the research and development tax credit will be "improved", with a particular emphasis placed on helping small and micro enterprises.
The VAT cash threshold has been raised to €2m from €1.25m.
That means a company with turnover of less than €2m will be able to pay VAT on customer receipts as they come in instead of when they are invoiced.