Saturday 17 March 2018

Taoiseach: This budget will 'hopefully be last difficult one'

Lise Hand

Lise Hand

THE Taoiseach has warned that the October Budget "is not going to be easy", but added that "hopefully it will be the last" of the difficult Budgets.

Mr Kenny said: "This government will continue its work; we have this Budget, next year's Budget and a third one, hopefully if we keep our economy on track this should be the last of the difficult Budgets."

He also confirmed that a full Cabinet discussion has yet to be held about what will be the last Budget under the Troika programme.

"All of the information which is necessary for those discussions to take place is not in yet, and the Minister for Finance won't have it for some weeks, so the government as a unit has not sat down to do the details of the Budget and that won't happen until September".

The Taoiseach was speaking at the launch of the sixth progress report of the Action Plan for Jobs today which was also attended by the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Jobs Minister, Richard Bruton.

Mr Kenny said that 160 out of 180 measures committed for completion in the first half of 2013 have been implemented.

"The focus of government for the period ahead is on jobs and opportunities," he said at the launch in Dublin's Marker Hotel.

Among the measures delivered are the introduction of JobsPlus, the scheme to provide regular cash payments to to offset wage costs where they employ people who have been on the dole for more than 12 months, and the roll-out of 31 Local Enterprise Offices across the country to work with start-ups and micro-businesses.

However, 20 of the promised measures missed the target. The Taoiseach said that the "hefty legislative programme certainly had an impact on this quarter".

He added that the preparations for Ireland's EU Presidency which ran from January to JUly "took up an enormous amount of Government time".

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore pointed out that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had dropped from 14.1pc to 13.7pc from last year, but said that "the incidence of long-term unemployment is still very high - jobs are top priority of government, it's what we get up every morning and come to work to do".

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