Kenny promises to invest more in jobs
ANY flexibility from the upcoming Budget will be channelled into job creation, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised.
He said that while the final details of the State's fiscal blueprint are still being ironed out, the Government will invest as much as possible in job creation.
"Job creation is something that has been very central to us. The Live Register numbers have been falling, unemployment has been falling, although it's still too high, but there are signs of confidence here," he told the Irish Independent.
"The continued drive by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and the Government in terms of jobs and job opportunities are where we need to be," he added.
Mr Bruton, meanwhile, said that investment in digital and high-tech industries is also a key part of the Government's job strategy.
"In the past year we have started to see real progress with 3,000 private-sector jobs now being created every month."
Noting that growth in the digital jobs sector is far outpacing other sectors, he said Ireland is well positioned as a world leader in "using the new powerful tools".
The upcoming Budget was also targeted by Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar, who warned that a sudden withdrawal of the 9pc VAT rate for tourism-related goods and services could do "real harm".
The VAT rate was lowered from 13.5pc to 9pc until December 31, 2013, to help boost the tourism industry and knock-on related businesses, such as restaurants.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland also called for VAT to be kept at 9pc for the sector.