| 6.3°C Dublin

Fine Gael vows to enact jobs legislation

Fine Gael has vowed to enact legislation to create jobs within 100 days of taking power.

The party plans to spend €338m this year trying to get people back to work through intern schemes, cutting the lowest VAT rate to 12pc and abolishing the €3 travel tax.

Leader Enda Kenny said the plan will create 20,000 jobs a year over the next five years.

"We need a new political plan so a new government can engage, again, with young people whose hearts have been broken, whose dreams have been ruined, whose trust has been shattered by old government, old politics, and an old system," he said.

"Young people have been hardest hit by the blatant mismanagement of the economy. Their future has been mortgaged to finance the lavish lifestyles of others. It's time to put an end to that."

The Jobs Creation Bill also sets out how the lower PRSI 8.5pc rate would be halved, labour intensive service businesses which export more than 90pc of their output would be VAT exempt and a re-allocation of the remaining national pension reserve fund in infrastructure.

The scheme was detailed in the Young Fine Gael Youth Manifesto launched by the party in Dublin where he was joined by 17 young Fine Gael candidates.

The party said it could create 45,000 work placements in private and voluntary sectors, 17,000 Second Chance Education places for former retail and construction workers who did not complete their education, 5,000 community employment places and new opportunities for apprentices.

Michael Noonan, Fine Gael finance spokesman, said the changes would be in law by July.

"With these measures, implemented within 100 days if elected to office, Fine Gael can provide real hope to a younger generation who have seen their plans and aspirations devastated by a collapsing economy," Mr Noonan said.

"Fine Gael has the plan and the people to start creating a new hope for a new generation of Irish workers.

"If we receive the support of the public on the 25th of February our policies and plans will start impacting on the problem by the start of July."

Fine Gael said the plan would be part-funded by bringing forward a 0.5pc levy on pension funds.

PA Media