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Eamon Gilmore, Enda Kenny and Richard Bruton speaking at the government jobs announcement this afternoon

Government announces major action plan to solve jobs crisis

The plan aims to make Ireland “the best small country in Europe in which to do business by 2016″ says Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced a major new plan for tackling the jobs crisis – with the aim of creating 100,000 new jobs in Ireland by 2016.

Speaking at the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs, Enda Kenny said that the government’s top priority is jobs.

Unusually for a government initiative, the Action Plan will be updated every year and will include targets for delivery for its specific aims.

The first Action Plan, which will be delivered in January 2012, includes a range of measures including:

  • A micro-finance loan fund of €100 million over ten years for start-ups and small businesses
  • A temporary partial loan guarantee scheme for businesses turned down for loans from their bank
  • A second call for the Innovation Fund developed by Enterprise Ireland

“We plan to make Ireland the best small country in which to do business by 2016″, said Richard Bruton, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, speaking at the announcement of the plan in Dublin this afternoon.

The microfinance loan fund, which is estimated will help around 500 start-up or small businesses, will be aimed at people who can’t get credit from banks.

A range of measures arising from the Global Irish Forum were also agreed by Cabinet today as part of the jobs initiative – one of which was the announcement that the World Actor’s Forum will be coming to Ireland in 2014.

Bruton stressed that the plan will include targets for delivery for every quarter and will be monitored closely to ensure it meets these targets.

Enda Kenny emphasised the government focus on the unemployment crisis, saying:

The government’s top priority is and always has been jobs.

The unemployement rate is currently 14. 2 per cent.

The Taoiseach reaffirmed that the Budget will contain no increases in income tax or corporation tax to help stimulate growth, saying that Ireland “needs to be ambitious for our future, for our people”.

Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore and Richard Bruton made the announcement this afternoon following a special  Cabinet meeting dedicated to the issue of jobs.

When asked about the target of 100,000 new jobs by 2015, Kenny acknowledged that 100,000 jobs “is never going to be enough but it’s an ambitious target for government to achieve”.

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