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Job Creation and Economic Growth: Motion (resumed) [Private Members]

Vote from 13/03/2013

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The following motion was moved by Deputy Jonathan O’Brien on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 (debated and voted on the 13th):
“That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:

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Background information

The following motion was moved by Deputy Jonathan O’Brien on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 (debated and voted on the 13th):
“That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
— the disastrous economic management of the previous Fianna Fáil Government resulted in unemployment rates rising from 5 per cent in 2008 to 13 per cent in 2009, peaking at 14.3 per cent in September 2010; and unemployment rates have continued at this level under the current Government;
— the rates of long-term unemployment have increased, with almost 60 per cent of all unemployed persons out of work for more than 12 months; and the youth unemployment level is in excess of 27 per cent; and— the levels of emigration have increased over the past two years, with 167,000 leaving since 2011, which equates to over 1,600 people leaving every week;
further notes:
— in 2012 almost 12,800 net full-time jobs were lost in the economy and replaced by 14,000 part-time jobs;
— the rise in underemployment, with almost one third of part-time workers seeking additional hours;
— that the Government Action Plan on Jobs fails to have annual targets for job creation or reductions in levels of unemployment and has failed the test of tackling unemployment;
— the failure of bailout banks to support Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, with increased new lending;
— that as the largest employer, the Government has shredded 30,000 jobs, which has undermined public services;
— that the employment crisis has a differential impact on communities across the State and the Government has failed to address these inequalities;
— the resilience of our SME sector and our workers who have continued to work and produce goods and services in an economy undermined by Government policy; and
— the negative impact of the border with regard to realising the economic potential of our island;

acknowledges that the Government:
— has failed to impact, in a substantive way, on the unemployment crisis;
— has a role to play in creating and retaining jobs; and
— should fully support workers and the SME sector to promote growth and jobs; and

calls on the Government to:
— establish a jobs stimulus fund of €13 billion to reflect the scale of the crisis we face;
— target investment towards projects that will create employment, develop infrastructure and enhance our competitiveness;
— tackle barriers to competitiveness by:
— abolishing upward only rent review clauses;
— addressing excessive utility, legal and insurance costs; — introducing progressive commercial rates; and
— combatting cartels;
— pledge that citizens are not forced into emigration by economic necessity; and to put in place schemes that will guarantee young people jobs, training or continued education;
— develop regional targets and budgets to promote job creation and tackle economic inequalities; and
— work with the Northern Ireland Executive to promote an all-island approach to skills, job creation and economic growth.”
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:

To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
“acknowledges the Government’s recent achievements in:
— renegotiating the EU/IMF bailout to cut interest payments and free up investments for stimulus;
— reducing Ireland’s borrowing needs by €20 billion over the coming decade by securing a restructuring of the promissory notes to creditors in Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide banks;
— improving access to finance for business by:
— re-capitalising the pillar banks;
— setting lending targets; and
— introducing new financing options such as the Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Microfinance Fund and the Development Capital Scheme;
— placing a whole-of-Government focus on supporting job creation through the cumulative effect of the annual Action Plan for Jobs process, which builds on the initial Jobs Initiative of May 2011; and
— assisting the long-term unemployed being prepared to move into employment through more regular engagement, upskilling and training under the Pathways to Work programme;
notes:
— the systematic way in which the Government and its agencies implemented the 2012 Action Plan for Jobs which, in parallel with the recently launched 2013 plan, is helping to transform the operating environment for business, to support job creation and competitiveness; subsequent action plans will build on the work completed by the first two;
— a net increase of over 10,000 jobs in Enterprise Ireland and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Ireland companies in 2012, which is the highest level of job creation since 2006 for Enterprise Ireland companies, and the highest level in a decade for IDA Ireland companies;
— the 1,200 increase in employment in the latest Quarterly National Household Survey figures which is the first annual increase in employment recorded since the second quarter of 2008;
— that private sector employment has grown on average by 1,000 jobs a month in the past 15 months; this is in contrast to 250,000 private sector jobs being lost in the three years before the current Government took office;
— the major jobs announcements since March 2011 including: PayPal (1,000 jobs), Kerry Group (800 jobs), Sky (800 jobs), Paddy Power (600 jobs), Mylan (500 jobs), Apple (500 jobs), Northern Trust (400 jobs), EA/Bioware (500 jobs in total), Eli Lilly (200 jobs) and HP (280 jobs);
— the regional spread of these new jobs, including new investments in Letter- kenny, Sligo, Mayo, Westport, Galway, Louth, Dundalk, Drogheda, Kildare, Leixlip, Kilkenny, Bray and Limerick;
— the latest goods trade figures published by the Central Statistics Office, which showed that goods exports in 2012 increased on 2011 levels to hit €92 billion, the highest figure since 2002, while services exports for the first nine months of 2012 are up over 11% on the equivalent period in 2011; hence, the annual overall increase in exports for 2012 is likely to be significant;
— that Budget 2013 includes a 10 point plan to support the Small and Medium Enterprise sector;
— the achievement of the Government in securing agreement under the Irish Presidency of the EU for a pan-European fund of €6 billion for a Youth Guarantee Scheme to address youth unemployment;
— that, through a variety of funds and schemes, the Government has managed to provide more than €2 billion of non-bank, new streams of finance into the market through such initiatives as the Development Capital Fund, the Partial Credit Guar- antee Scheme, Innovation Fund Ireland, a new Seed and Venture Capital Fund and a variety of National Pensions Reserve Fund SME funds;
— the on-going cross-Border co-operation on economic development, through the work of agencies such as Tourism Ireland, InterTradeIreland and others; and
— the increased expenditure on employment support schemes since the current Government took office, such that total spending in support of people who are unemployed has increased significantly from €958 million in 2012 to €1.045 billion in 2013 with an additional 10,000 work placements as well as support for additional training and educational opportunities; and

commends the Government for:
— restoring Ireland’s reputation internationally as a stable economy which is open for business and attractive for investors; with the two major international rankings of competitiveness indicating that our performance is going in the right direction;according to the IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook, Ireland is ranked 20th in 2012, up from 24th in 2011;
— re-establishing order in the banking system and allowing Ireland to re-enter the bond markets;
— maintaining Ireland’s corporation tax rate at 12.5% and keeping income taxes at the same levels since coming into Government;
— the implementation of a stringent monitoring and reporting structure for the cross-Government implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs, led by the Department of the Taoiseach, to ensure that job creation is the number one priority of all Departments and agencies of the State;
— the strategic focus of the Disruptive Reforms measures contained in the Action Plan for Jobs, being implemented in partnership with senior industry figures, which have the potential for significant job creation;
— facilitating growth in employment for the first time since 2008 by systemati- cally tackling issues that have improved the operating environment for business and strengthened Ireland’s competitiveness;
— recognising the critical contribution of the micro and small business sector in job creation and commends the Government’s commitment to reform of the micro and small business infrastructure, including providing a first-stop-shop to support the sector;
— targeting investment under its Capital Investment Programme at projects that will create employment; and
— addressing the skills needs of the economy through programmes such as Springboard, JobBridge and the ICT Action Plan, which are providing education, training and work experience directly linked to the needs of the enterprise sector.
(Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Richard Bruton)

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