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Sinn Fein plan would 'get 50,000 off the dole'

Some 50,000 young unemployed could be taken off the dole immediately if the Government implemented a €1.3bn stimulus plan, Sinn Fein claimed today.

The main plank of their economic recovery proposals is a massive youth jobs fund at a cost of half a billion euro that it believes would create 20,000 jobs for the under-25s.

The party said the money could be raised by dipping into the national pension reserve fund and with new taxes -- including a 48pc third rate for high earners and a 1pc wealth tax on assets worth more than €1m -- outlined at its ard fheis earlier this month.

Senator Pearse Doherty urged the Government to "pick up the ball and run" with its plans.

"We cannot sit on our hands and see the best minds of this generation of young people wasted or exported," he said.

"If we are to rebuild a sustainable and vibrant economy these are the people who will do it."

Other proposals include:

  • An individual plan for the long-term prospects of every person under 25 who is signing on;

  • A €20m One More Language scheme to allow 2,000 young unemployed to learn an extra foreign language;

  • A publicly-owned "green" technology firm and a €100m drive to bring in foreign investment in renewable energy;

  • 10,000 new continuing education places and 5,000 advanced computer courses;

  • A national development scheme taking on 2,000 young workers for public projects.