Fine Gael plan for Ireland

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The aim of Fine Gael’s jobs policy can be boiled down to three things:
• Getting people back to work;
• Making Ireland a better place to do business;
• And getting more Irish business to look beyond our borders and to sell on a global scale.
Getting people back to work:
• Unlike other parties we will not increase direct taxes on jobs and enterprise to promote job creation and investment.
• Youth unemployment is a feature of this recession. To stop our young talent leaving Ireland we are proposing over 45,000 placements in a range of new training, job placement and educational opportunities:
o National Internship Programme: 23,000 placements in the public and public sector for unemployed graduates;
o 17,000 additional second chance education places for those who left school early driven into an unsustainable construction boom and who are now unemployed;
o And a temporary increase in the number of community unemployment places to provide real on the job experience in our communities.
• We will halve the jobs tax on the lowest paid. Fianna Fail made the indefensible decision to slash the minimum wage. Instead Fine Gael will cut in half employers PRSI on the lowest paid to protect their jobs and to encourage new jobs.

Making Ireland a better place to do business
• We will reduce the cost of Government-imposed red tape on business by €500 million, in part by streamlining business inspections under a Business Inspection and Licensing Authority and a single Food Inspectorate.
• We will tackle high costs from sheltered sectors of the economy – such as transport, medical, waste and legal services.
• Out of date pay structures in certain sectors will be reviewed and all existing employment law will be consolidated into a Single Employment Act.
• We will support new business start-ups by simplifying tax registration, providing continued social welfare cover for three years and exempting some regulatory requirements designed for bigger companies.
• We will examine the feasibility of a single business tax for micro businesses (turnover less than €75k per annum) to replace all existing taxes.
• We will offer tax credits to multinational companies that provide the funding and mentoring needed by emerging Irish-owned companies to enter international markets.


Increasing Irish Exports
• A new ‘Home to Export’ programme will be established to share the expertise of exporting companies with firms currently reliant on declining domestic markets. A ‘Source Ireland’ portal will be developed to market Irish goods and services abroad.
• Service companies that export more than 90% of their output will be allowed become VAT exempt, improving their cash-flows and cutting down on red tape.
• We will publish a new Asia Strategy with the aim of trebling trade between Ireland and Asia during this period 2011-2025.
• We will develop Ireland as a ‘digital island’ and first-mover when it comes to information technology and cloud computing.
• We will put in place specific strategies to support high-potential growth sectors, such as international education, digital gaming, financial services and tourism.


Prior to the Government’s Budget 2011 the Party’s position on spending cuts vs tax increases was 3 to 1: €3 of spending cuts for every €1 of tax rises. Taking account of the government’s measures in Budget 2011, Fine Gael’s position on spending cuts vas tax increases is now 72% to 28%. Fine Gael remains committed to achieving the 3% deficit target by 2014.

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