TAOISEACH Enda Kenny says the Government will publish a plan to speed up the building of houses by St Patrick's Day.
The Cabinet met yesterday to discuss proposals aimed at freeing up blockages in the construction sector.
Mr Kenny said the plan was aimed at creating jobs in the residential and commercial property sectors – and infrastructural projects. He was speaking at the launch of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs 2014. The Coalition hailed the programme as a clear sign of its efforts to guide the economy to "better times".
The plans pledge to create an additional 10,000 jobs, on top of the 30,500 new posts already promised for 2014. They will involve the channelling of additional resources to the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), which will lead a fresh recruitment drive for 10,000 staff at its offices overseas.
Measures announced in the plan include:
- New sources of lending to small businesses, particularly those involved in exports.
- A €2m county-by-county reward scheme for entrepreneurs.
- Closer monitoring of banks by the Department of Finance to ensure that they are lending to businesses.
- 2015 being known as the 'Year of Design', during which 1,800 jobs will be created in the design and craft sector.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the Government would continue to build the economy "brick by brick". He said: "The plan is working. Many people are still not feeling the results, and we have a long way to go, but we are seeing real progress, and where previously we were shedding 1,600 jobs per week we are now adding 1,200 jobs per week."
Mr Kenny said there would be no let-up in government efforts in getting the country back to full employment.