26 November 2013
Almost 5,000 jobs a month being created
Pro jobs measures in Budget will facilitate further job creation in 2014
This improvement reflects similar changes that were evident in the Live Register figures for October. It shows that almost 5,000 jobs a month are being created in the private sector. This is hugely encouraging and shows that this Government’s plan to get Ireland working again is bearing fruit.
The Live Register figures for October 2013 showed that for the first time since April 2009 the number of people on the Register in Cork has fallen below 39,000. In October 38,449 people were on the register in Cork, while this figure is still too high it represents a fall of 19.6%, or over 9,000, from a peak of almost 48,000 in July 2010. Now the employment figures from the Quarterly National Household Survey Quarter 3 are further evidence of this improvement.
Budget 2014 contained pro-jobs measures which will, I believe, further incentivise small and large businesses to create jobs in Ireland in 2014. The 25 separate measures that support job creation as part of a €500 million pro-jobs package in Budget 2014 will help us build on the excellent progress being made in encouraging investment in Ireland and tackling our unemployment problem.
The Home Renovation Incentive Scheme is a particularly positive initiative, which will allow homeowners to claim back VAT on improvements carried out on their homes. This will generate significant amounts of work for registered tradesmen and contractors and, I believe, create jobs for people who were laid off when the construction sector collapsed under the last Government.
The retention of the 9% VAT rate is hugely welcome for the tourism sector, which has enjoyed a surge in visitor numbers over the last two years. The lower VAT rate was originally introduced as a temporary measure, but Minister Noonan has taken the very pragmatic decision to maintain the low rate in a bid to sustain and further encourage growth in this area.
Recent changes to Jobseeker’s Benefit and Allowance now make it easier for people to take up temporary work and short-term training courses. Claims can now be suspended for up to eight weeks to allow people to take up these opportunities and will be reinstated without delay when the work or training finishes. This is a very significant change and will be particularly helpful for those looking to take up temporary work opportunities over the Christmas period.
While we still have a long way to go, these figures show that we are moving firmly in the right direction. Ireland has experienced a fall in unemployment for the last 16 months in a row and is about to regain its economic independence by exiting the bailout. With a budget in place for next year which will further incentivise job creation, I firmly believe that we are heading in the right direction.
Unemployment caused much distress and financial hardship for all of those affected and their families. After all of these difficulties it is a relief to see confirmation of the creation of 5,000 private sector jobs per month. I hope that this improvement will be reflected in improved circumstances across the many homes that have been affected.