Jobs plan 'lacks imagination'

Willie O'Dea

Opposition parties have criticised the Government's new jobs plan today.

The plan aims to create 200,000 jobs over two four-year enterprise cycles.

"The publication of the Government’s Action Plan on Jobs is welcome however the plan contains a significant lack of imagination and focuses more on organisational changes rather than stimulus measures to create jobs," Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Willie O’Dea TD has said.

"Dissolving the 35 city and county enterprise boards and establishing a new network of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in each Local Authority appears to be an unnecessary exercise in optics that will disrupt the system that could simply be strengthened and provided with additional funding.

"Our pre-budget submission showed how Government could provide extra support for city and county enterprise boards.

"Minister Bruton has acknowledged there is no 'big bang' in this plan to deal with the unemployment crisis. He is underselling it - there is absolutely no new thinking at all."

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Peadar Toibín TD, said that there was nothing new in today's proposals.

"The Government proposals today were mostly a rehash of initiatives already unveiled and the plan is to implement them within existing, significantly reduced, budgets," he said.

"In the build-up to the announcement we were promised much; however on publication we find no new money and no meaningful targets.

"Job creation and growth is the most important issue facing this state. In almost 12 months since this government took office, nearly half a million people remain unemployed.

"The Taoiseach Enda Kenny seemed confused over whether the target is to create 100,000 additional jobs or as the he claimed, 100,000 net new jobs by 2016.

"In 2009, Enterprise Ireland received €359.49m. This year this figure has been reduced to €307.8m, a reduction of 14.3% over four years.

"In 2009, City and County Enterprise Boards received €21.67m and this year are set to receive €15m, a reduction of 30% over four years. IDA funding has also been reduced by €10m over the last year.

"Long term unemployment has increased by 14.5% to nearly 200,000 people. In the last year 76,000 have emigrated. At the same time 1640 companies have been declared bankrupt not to mention the thousands of sole traders that have shut up shop.

"While Foreign Direct Investment is very important, it should be remembered that over 72% of our employment is in small and micro-sized industries.

"Despite the fanfare around this new Jobs Plan there will be no new government money for jobs creation."

Most Read in Ireland