Thursday 17 October 2019

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton insists government will run full term

Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton pictured at launch of the East Coast bakehouse
Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton pictured at launch of the East Coast bakehouse

Mark O'Regan

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has kicked to touch suggestions of a post-budget Autumn election, insisting the Government will run its "full term."

Speaking at the announcement of 100 new jobs at a new biscuit company in Drogheda this morning, he insisted the coalition will finish its five-year term before calling an election.

"The Taoiseach has said time and againhe believes we should go the full distance," he told

He also insisted the government is on track to achieve its job creation targets.

Meanwhile, the Minister dismissed IBEC's warning that the public sector pay deal will create unrealistic expectations in the private sector.

Just 61pc of 400 businesses surveyed by IBEC said they will be in a position to offer employees pay increases, of an average of 2pc this year.

Mr Bruton insisted public servants had experienced "significant cuts" over a number of years, and that gradual reinstatement of pay was deserved.

"By and large there hasn't been the same level of cutting in average pay in the private sector," he added.

"The two sectors aren't comparable in that sense. This is an unwinding of emergency cuts, but it's being done on a scale that's affordable.

"This is a good deal that Brendan Howlin has negotiated. The truth is that we had, under emergency powers, taken pay from public servants.

"There was an obligation to see that unwind on a gradual bass."

Minister Bruton also stressed far-reaching "reform" was at the heart of the pay agreement, adding that the Government aim to create a "virtuous circle" which will increase productivity.

"Deputy Howlin has done that in a way that preserves reform in the public service, while putting productivity achievement at the core of the deal.

"That's what the future is. You need a virtuous circle of high productivity leading to pay increases; that's what delivers competitiveness and job creation for the whole community."

He also said for a long time the manufacturing industry was "written off" in Ireland - but the sector has experienced a "revival" in the last three years.

This was demonstrated with the announcement of 100 jobs to be created as part of a €15m investment in a new biscuit company in Drogheda, he added.

"We're seeing more and more companies like this building scale, with the ambition to go global."

East Coast Bakehouse will target the domestic market which is worth €170m, and the UK market valued at over €2 billion.

The manufacturing facility, which is seen as a major boost for employment in the North East, will be based in a production unit "the size of a football pitch".

Online Editors

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