| 7.3°C Dublin

Greens pledge to create 100,000 new jobs

Former coalition party the Greens claimed today that they made 20,000 jobs when in government and could create another 100,000 if put back in power.

Outlining its employment plan at the IFSC in Dublin, the party vowed to invest €500m from the state's pension pot to insulate homes.

The Greens also want 150 km sq of new forest planted and high-voltage electricity links to Europe to export enough energy to power up to two million homes.

The party likened their proposal to the radical reforms of TK Whitaker in the 1950s.

Leader John Gormley claimed his party knew Ireland's economic model was broken when they went into government, citing the end of cheap oil and the need to tackle climate change.

"We entered Government knowing that our economic model was broken and we had the ideas to fix it," he claimed.

Mr Gormley added: "We have a proven track record of delivery and that's why the electorate can believe in our jobs plan. The recovery will be green."

The jobs plan focuses on using the most up-to-date technology, including rolling out the ultra-fast broadband network known as Exemplar nationwide; shifting all public services to cloud computing, where data is stored on external services but is easily accessed on the internet; and spending €70m training the unemployed in jobs to web-enable homegrown businesses.

It also sets out how Ireland can be marketed as a 'Green Island' for eco-tourism.

Louth candidate Mark Deary said going green would help farmers, foresters and those in the tourist industry.

"The Green Party's plan, like Whitaker in the 50s, is to use our natural resources for a new economy - our land and our people. Our international brand is of a Green Island; making that brand meaningful will reap rewards," he said.

Senator Dan Boyle, also the party's finance spokesman, said the policy was based on prudent financial planning with no promises of investment government cannot afford.

"During our time in Government our energy semi-states announced investment plans of eight billion euro in clean energy over the next four years. This is money they can raise themselves and policy they can deliver on the ground," the Senator said.

"Our job creation plan is realistic but ambitious. And it will work."

The Greens also want to let the private sector access Government data, establish an International Content Service Centre, abolish Forfas and redirect savings into EI/IDA grants and create a Green IFSC for carbon verification and green financial services.

PA Media