Monday 11 December 2017

Noonan backs jobs target of 100,000 in surprise turnaround

ine Kerr and Fiach Kelly

FINE Gael's finance spokesman Michael Noonan last night made a U-turn and backed his party's ambitious jobs target.

The frontbench spokesman previously cast major doubt over Enda Kenny's plans to create 100,000 jobs under the party's 'New Era' stimulus package.

Mr Noonan had claimed the figure of 100,000 was nowhere in the policy document and was "some kind of public relations add-on that enthusiastic people attached to it".

The party's target had been calculated by frontbench spokesman Simon Coveney using Construction Federation of Ireland and Economic and Social Research Institute methods.

Yesterday Mr Noonan signalled he had checked those calculations and he was now satisfied 90,000 to 110,000 jobs could be created. But asked in July if the party's economic stimulus plan could deliver the jobs, Mr Noonan had said: "Quite frankly, I don't believe it would."

Mr Noonan last night claimed he believed proposals for pumping money into infrastructure projects over four years could create "somewhere between 90,000 and 110,000 jobs".

Mr Noonan added that, in July, he had been trying to explain the difficulties of calculating how many people could benefit from a stimulus injection and the so-called "multiplier effect".

A spokesman for Mr Noonan said he accepted he had tried to explain the multiplier effect but did so "poorly" and later clarified his position. "What I would absolutely go to the line on is that it will create somewhere between 90,000 and 100,000 jobs," Mr Noonan said.

Irish Independent

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