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Fine Gael promises jobs creation law within 100 days of power

Enda Kenny says his party is the only one nurturing Ireland’s youth, and will produce a bill to create jobs for them.

Image: Peter Morrison/AP

FINE GAEL has promised to introduce a new law containing measures to help create new jobs within 100 days of taking power following Friday’s general election.

Campaigning just three days before Friday’s polling – and ahead of this evening’s final debate between the three main party leaders – the party leader Enda Kenny told assembled party volunteers at the Grand Canal Theatre that Ireland was in the midst of an “unemployment crisis”.

Unemployment had hit younger voters the hardest, he said, with one in three young men under the age of 25 being unemployed, while more than half of all jobs lost during the recession had been held by under-25s.

Kenny said his government would create 20,000 jobs each year for the next five years.

Finance spokesman Michael Noonan, launching the party’s youth manifesto, said the party would begin the implementation of the employment package outlined in its Five Point Plan as soon as it entered power.

A Jobs Creation Bill, which the party said it would hope to have enacted into law by July 1, would include an immediate cut in the VAT rate from 13.5 per cent to 12 per cent, and giving service companies which export more than 90 of their output an exemption from VAT.

The bill would also halve the lower 8.5 rate of PRSI, and would create a National Graduate Internship programme with space for 5,000 places.

The total cost of those measures would be €338m in 2011, which would be financed by bringing forward the 0.5 per cent levy on pension funds.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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