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Details of jobs initiative emerge but government 'has no idea how many jobs it will create'

Reports in today’s Sunday papers give more details about next month’s planned jobs initiative but there are doubts about how many jobs it will create.

Richard Bruton (L) has been accused of being
Richard Bruton (L) has been accused of being "clueless" about how to create jobs.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

DETAILS OF NEXT month’s planned jobs initiative and how it will be funded have emerged today but the government has no idea how many jobs – if any –  it will create according to one report.

The Sunday Independent reports that enterprise minister Richard Bruton has written a letter to leading private companies in which he asks them to inform him of potential jobs and internships they may be able to offer as a result of the government’s initiatives.

The letter from Bruton to businesses reportedly adds:

I would appreciate if you could let me know the number of employment or internship opportunities … which you believe … you may be able of offer.

The Fianna Fáíl enterprise spokesman Willie O’Dea has accused Bruton of “punching in the dark” with the plan of which details have emerged in today’s Sunday Times.

Citing senior government sources, the paper reports that the jobs initiative will provide a stimulus of around €500 million in a full year that will be financed by 0.5 per cent levy on private pension funds.

The programme will include halving the 8.5 per cent employers’ PRSI rate on pay packets up to €356 a week, bringing the legal pay rate for adults up from €7.65 to €8.65 an hour and cutting the lower VAT rate on labour-intensive services from 13.5 per cent to 12 per cent.

The paper adds that the plan will also include a pledge of up to 20,000 training, education and internship places for graduates, newly qualified apprentices and the long-term unemployed.

The stimulus package will be announced next month having been broadly approved by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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