23 May 2012

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions today (May 23) outlined details of a major new investment programme that could create up to 100,000 jobs and significantly boost prospects of economic recovery.
Congress General Secretary David Begg said: "Ireland desperately needs to create jobs, boost domestic demand and generate growth if there is to be any hope of recovery. This programme can help spark growth and provide hope after years of unrelenting austerity."

The Congress programme proposes an investment of over €3 billion per annum for the next three years and it is intended that this cost would be "kept off the state's balance sheet."
Mr Begg said it would be possible to fund the programme from a mix of private, public and European sources, including private Irish pension funds, the National Pension Reserve Fund and the European Investment Bank.
"The mood music across Europe has changed. The political discourse has shifted - growth is now firmly on the agenda as manifested by the election of Francois Hollande along with recent political developments in the Netherlands and even Germany.

"Ireland needs to place itself firmly within the 'growth camp' and the Irish government should give full support to France in the attempt to make growth the main priority.We need a New Deal for Europe and a New deal for Ireland," Mr Begg said.

The Congress programme would see investment in key infrastructure and would expect to see some 30,000 jobs created per annum.

It would also help restart domestic activity, boost long-term growth and enhance competitiveness. The investment programme would help reduce the deficit due to higher tax revenues and lower unemployment.