‘Lost jobs back by 2018’

by Staff Reporter

MINISTER for Finance Michael Noonan has said all of the jobs lost in the recession would be replaced by 2018.
He made his remarks recently on the publication of the Government’s Spring Economic Statement, and added that 200,000 jobs would be created between now and 2020, forecasting that two million people would be employed nationwide by next year.
Overall, his remarks may be viewed as extremely hopeful as he believed the Government may be in a position to introduce expansionary budgets from now until 2020.
He said there would be no return to the boom-and-bust-budget model of the past.
Noonan said: “Over the period 2011 to 2015, the deficit was reduced from €15bn to €4.5bn. However, we were in a position to achieve these targets with less tax increases and expenditure cuts than originally envisaged, and to bring an end to the era of austerity budgets much earlier than originally planned.”
On another positive note, he said that having peaked in 2013, the national debt was now on a firm downward path, and was expected to drop below 100% of GDP and move towards the EU average in the coming years.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin also had some good news, in the form of intended spending increases of between €600m and €750m for 2016.
He said the expansion would enable the Government to deal with underlying demographic pressures in social protection, education and health.
He said the Government was commitment to pension provision, and intended to increase the current national spend of €6.5bn a year by €200m as the population aged.
He went on to hint at forthcoming public service pay increases, saying the Government had agreed to his proposal to enter into discussions with trade unions on public service pay.
He believed it was wise to plan for a steady winding down of the emergency provisions that had been introduced to deal with the gap in the public finances, which included pay cuts for public servants.

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