THE JOBS BUDGET
The government is to unveil its so-called ‘Jobs Budget’ in May, shortly before the arrival of Queen Elizabeth and President Obama, The Sunday Independent reports.
Although the timing of the budget is described by ‘well-placed sources’ as coincidental, the newspaper believes it is designed to capitalise on the likely feel-good factor likely to be engendered by the visits.
The budget is expected to implement the measures promised in the Programme For Government to develop “job growth and sustainable enterprise”. The document details the growing economic cost of the unemployment crisis, estimating that the average person who finds work and signs off the dole reduces the deficit by €20,000 and also spends €15,000 on goods and services.
The Jobs Budget’s likely proposals will include:
- An additional 15,000 places in training, work experience and education opportunities
- Slashing the 13.5% Vat rate to 12% until the end of 2013
- Halving the lower 8.5% PRSI rate until the end of 2013 for jobs that pay up to €356 a week
- Reversing the cut in the minimum wage
- Abolition of the travel tax – but only as part of a deal with airlines to increase passenger numbers into Ireland
- A long-term strategy to “develop new markets in emerging economies”
- More resources for the national housing energy retrofitting plan
- Expanded eligibility for the back to education allowance
- Increased spending on certain capital infrastructure projects