Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Fine Gael TD for Dublin Bay North, Richard Bruton says that Fianna Fail’s lack of any real plan for jobs growth, while they talk about increased services, shows that they have still not learned the lessons of the crash.
“Fianna Fáil brought this country to the brink of collapse, creating an unsustainable boom based on property and debt, squandering competitiveness and export market share. Then when the crash came they mismanaged the crisis. Over successive years their record shows that they cannot be trusted to manage the economy and all they offer is chaos and instability.
“In Government Fianna Fáil destroyed 300,000 jobs, they compounded that by cutting the national minimum wage and cutting job seekers allowance. They also introduced and raised the hated USC. All of these measures damaged the economy and resulted in disastrous consequences for the services people rely on. Their comments over the last weekend show that when it comes to growing the economy, creating jobs and investing in services – they still just don’t get it.
“It is only by growing the economy and creating jobs that you can create the resources which allow increased investment in services. Fianna Fáil claim to be keen on the second step – investment in services – but they have no plans to implement the first step – creating the jobs growth that makes everything else possible.
“By contrast Fine Gael in Government, through our plan, have built a new sustainable economy based on exports and innovation. Part of this is reforming our personal tax rates, which are just too high. We want to bring the marginal tax rate below 50pc, by abolishing the USC over the lifetime of the next Government. Tax cuts are fair and spread the benefits of the recovery. They also contribute to job creation by encouraging increased workforce participation and entrepreneurship, growing domestic spending and consumer confidence, and encouraging foreign investment.
“Over five budgets this Government has restored our public finances without taxing jobs, a key election promise, helping to create 135,000 jobs since the Action Plan for Jobs in Feb 2012. Last year we cut taxes and the overall tax take actually went up, leaving more money to invest in services.
“Only a strong economy, that supports people at work, can pay for the services needed. Every person who leaves the dole and returns to work frees up €20,000 for other uses. More people in work creates the resources to cut taxes for working people and invest in better services, improving living standards for all.
“Fine Gael has a long term plan to keep the recovery going. Our plan will deliver more and better jobs, make work pay and deliver affordable, sustainable investments in services, using the resources from a growing economy and increasing employment. Our plan is fair and – unlike Fianna Fáil’s promises with no plan to underpin them – it will work.”