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Job predictions "cold comfort" says McGrath

The Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson says he wants more detail on the government’s plans to grow the economy.

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE FIANNA FÁIL Finance spokesperson has called on the Taoiseach to provide more detail on the government’s economic plans.

Michael McGrath told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme that he didn’t think Enda Kenny’s speech last night was necessary.

“I’m not sure that it was [a speech worth giving].  I would have expected the Taoiseach to announce some new initiatives on the key issues.”

McGrath said that mortgage arrears, jobs and SME credit were the main concerns that people are faced with.

In his speech, the Taoiseach said that he would be addressing those issues this week when the government’s seven-year economic plan is released.

McGrath said that he hoped that the Taoiseach’s “upbeat outlook” would be matched in reality. He said that the State of the Nation address was “sketchy” on detail and questioned the employment figures set out by Kenny.

“One specific item that the Taoiseach did allude to was that there would be two million people at work by 2020.

“As of today, we have 1.9 million people at work, so he’s projecting an increase of 100,000 people over the next seven years.

Now we have over 400,000 still on the live register, so by the Taoiseach’s own numbers that would still leave about 300,000 people on the live register in seven years time.

“I think that will come as quite cold comfort to those waking up today without a job.”

Video: Here’s what Enda Kenny had to say in his State of the Nation address

Read: Ibec predicts strong post-bailout growth and 50,000 jobs in 2014

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