independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Kenny: We want full employment by end of decade

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says 2014 will be "the year for jobs" as the Government aims for full employment by the end of the decade.

Speaking at the launch of the Government's economic plan up to 2020, Mr Kenny said the coalition aims to replace all 330,000 jobs lost during the crisis with new jobs.

The Taoiseach said the plan envisages halving the rate of unemployment to ensure there is full employment.

He said the new Medium Term Economic Strategy would support growth and enterprise.

Mr Kenny said welfare reforms will continue to be a priority so that work pays.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said after exiting the bailout there was "no question of being able to release the purse strings".

Mr Gilmore SAID what really matters is when there are more jobs, more mortgages are resolved and there are more opportunities for our young people.

The 66 page document sets out economic policy up to the end of the decade.

The plan says the government's "immediate priority" is to ensure that the country’s economic recovery is "jobs rich", and also that the economy is "resilient in the face of international shocks".

More support will be given to Irish businesses to export and to innovate more, the Taoiseach said.

Mr Gilmore said the second message in the plan is that we can and must meet full employment, which means getting unemployment rate below 6pc by 2020.

He said the plan is about real and sustainable jobs in an export-led economy.

China will soon be the new leading economy and Ireland needs to build links with places such as China, Mr Gilmore said.

The government’s projection for economic growth is 3.5pc for 2017.

And Mr Kenny promised to replace all the 330,000 jobs that were lost during the recession.

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