Taoiseach pledges to slash childcare costs in October's budget
The Government will shortly publish a plan to slash childcare costs with the first steps being taken in October's Budget, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
Opening the National Economic Dialogue in Dublin Castle, Mr Kenny also reiterated his pledge to cut the 7pc rate of Universal Social Charge to reduce the marginal tax rate on all those earning less than €70,000 per year to below 50pc.
Mr Kenny said the aim is to bring to half a million the total number of low income workers that will have been removed from the USC net.
He said that by 2018, the Government aims to have replaced every job lost during the recession and by 2019 the expectation is that more people will be at work in Ireland than ever before.m
Mr Kenny said there are families for whom the recovery hasn't arrived.
"The reality is that many people do not yet see, and do not yet feel the benefits of a recovering economy," the Taoiseach said.
"All remain nervous about the risks ahead and the danger of slipping back.
"My commitment to the Irish people is that - under this government- we are never going back."
The Taoiseach said that after the Low Pay Commission makes its first report next week, the Government will respond with a package of measures in the a budget that supports jobs.
"Combined with ongoing reforms to our welfare system, the Budget will make sure that work pays more than welfare, and will reduce the number of working fa,lies in poverty," Mr Kenny said.
Mr Kenny pledged to cut childcare costs.
"We will also shortly publish a plan to expand early childhood education and reduce childcare costs, with the first steps to be taken in the coming Budget," Mr Kenny said.
Members of the Cabinet, the Opposition, and representatives of business bodies, trade unions, and social groups are attending the two day even in Dublin Castle.
Tanaiste Joan Burton said there will be some leeway in the Budget for investment.
Ms Burton said the strong growth rates experienced recently cannot be taken for granted and will require prudent and sustainable management.
She said the government will spend sensibly.
"We will continue to reduce taxes for low and middle-income workers, to ensure they take home more pay," she said.
"We will continue to increase Child Benefit and make a number of additional targeted welfare increases.
"We will continue to prioritise investment in infrastructure that will boost our long-term economic – and social - capacity.
"But to be clear: these are overall themes, not granular detail.
"The Budget is not yet written, and won’t be finalised until October."