Government accused of a 'miserable failure' to spread recovery

Fianna Fáil yesterday accused the Government of a “miserable failure” to spread the economic recovery to all parts of the country, at the launch of the party’s jobs plan for the next five years.

Dara Calleary made the claim hours after a new Newstalk opinion poll found 56% of people have not experienced Ireland’s economic comeback, and four-in-five feel the recovery occurred on a two-tier basis.

The outgoing Mayo TD said under the Fine Gael- Labour Coalition “42% of our recovery is based in one location of the island” and, as a result, there has been no jobs strategy for large swathes of the country.

Despite government claims to have helped bring jobs to Ireland, he said parties in power “don’t create jobs, unlike what Enda Kenny wants you to think; all they do is create conditions for employers”.

Mr Calleary made the comments as he launched Fianna Fáil’s jobs plan alongside Senator Thomas Byrne in Dublin.

The plan includes moves to help increase the number of jobs by 250,000 by 2021; incentivise job creation by reducing employer PRSI; roll out new digital hubs to all local authorities and “explore” PRSI changes to allow the self-employed to qualify for job-seekers’ benefit and invalidity benefit.

In addition, it will “empower” new businesses by providing relief from capital gains tax at 10% up to the €15m gains limit.

Mr Calleary admitted the 250,000 new jobs figure — 50,000 higher than Fine Gael — was “ambitious” when questioned over whether it could be reached if the world economy retracts, but said his party was committed to helping people find work.

He said Fianna Fáil’s jobs plan is fully independently costed at €327m capital expenditure and €238.2m current expenditure respectively.

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