I wanted to take an opportunity to update you on the progress being made at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
This Government inherited an economy where public expenditure was running 50% ahead of revenue, and the jobs market was in freefall. Over 300,000 jobs were lost in the three years before we took office. Our task is to undertake an economic transition from the old, failed economy based on property, banking and debt, to a new, sustainable economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation. This is at the core the Taoiseach’s ambition to make Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business in by 2016.
This year we introduced the first annual Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at getting the whole of government and all of its agencies to focus on job creation. It has an ambition to create an extra 100,000 jobs in the Irish economy by 2016. The Plan contains 270 actions and we have delivered 95% of them on time.
The actions have been focussed on:
- Improving Access to Finance
- Developing strong exports from indigenous and foreign businesses
- Improving the competitiveness of all businesses
- Developing the sectors that will drive Ireland’s economic prosperity in the years ahead
The journey of transformation has still a long way to go. However, we are making progress and our plan is reaching its key milestones. We can have confidence that we are on the right track.
International confidence has returned, and the past 18 months have been the best period for job creation by the IDA for a decade. Irish owned business achieved an export growth of over 10% in each of the last two years and are now expanding employment. Overall, in the last 18 months, employment in export orientated sectors grew by 20,000, whereas these sectors had shed 70,000 jobs in the three years before we entered office.
We have also been working to improve the effectiveness of our Department and its agencies as part of the wider challenge of public service reform. We have several projects underway which are designed to deliver a better service from slimmed down structures:
- A plan to radically overhaul the five employment rights bodies (cutting the number of bodies from five to two) will deliver a better service for workers and employers, and savings for the taxpayer
- A plan to reform our support for small business through the creation of a new division in Enterprise Ireland to specifically support the small business sector, with new Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) operating out of local authorities and working to an Enterprise Ireland policy agenda, and the dissolution of the 35 city and county enterprise boards
- The merger of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency
- The strengthening of our policy making capability by integrating Forfás into the Department and driving key policy processes like the Action Plan for Jobs
Below are some highlights of the past 18 months. I am currently preparing the 2013 Action Plan for Jobs on behalf of the Government and will be exploring further measures which can be taken to transform the economy and support job creation. I would welcome any input from Fine Gael members. An online submission form is available here: http://www.djei.ie/
Working together, I am certain we can succeed in creating a strong, sustainable economy that creates jobs and opportunities for our young people.
Richard Bruton TD
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
- The IDA has had a record 18 months in terms of jobs - 20, 000 gross new jobs, with key investments in Dundalk (Paypal -1,000 jobs), Limerick (Northern Trust - 400 jobs), Galway (EA Games - 300 jobs), and Cork (Apple – 500 jobs).
- Enterprise Ireland companies have increased exports by 25% in the past two years, reachingthe highest level ever. A total of 14,000 gross new jobs were secured in the past 18 months including in Kildare (Kerry Group – 800 jobs and 400 construction jobs), and Waterford (Eistech – 250 jobs)
- Almost 145 new High Potential Start Ups will create 2,500 jobs over the next three years across a range of sectors.
Access to Finance
- A new €90 million micro-enterprise loan scheme will provide loans of up to €25,000 to micro enterprise to help create 7,700 jobs over ten years
- A new €450 million temporary partial loan guarantee scheme will encourage additional lending to SMEs.
- Schemes worth €270 million will provide development capital for growth companies.
- Ireland has improved its competitiveness ranking by 4 places and is now back in the top the 20 most competitive economies in the world.
- The Research Prioritisation Plan targets the State’s core €500million annual research budget to turn good ideas into jobs.
- Cut the administrative burden on business within my own Department’s area of responsibility by over 25% so far, yielding potential savings of €207 million per annum for business.
- Improve company law and make it easier for business – we will allow companies of a certain size to apply to the circuit court for Examinership rather than the High Court, which will reduce costs considerably as a result.
- Encouraging Local Authorities to freeze or reduce commercial rates. All but one Local Authority has frozen or reduced their rates for this year.
- Reduce the cost of Government imposed red tape (an audit of licences is underway).
- We are reducing the number of the Joint Labour Committees by half and making them more responsive to our modern economy by reducing to three the number of pay rates that can be set and removing from JLCs the setting of a Sunday premium
Winning new markets
- Succeed in Ireland provides direct incentives to members of the diaspora and others across the world to create jobs in Ireland.
- The new Potential Exporters Division gives supports to indigenous Irish exporters.
- The foreign Earnings Deduction is a new tax relief to assist companies seeking to expand into emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- Establish joint IDA/EI group to open up new opportunities for getting Irish companies access to global supply chains and make Ireland a location of choice for international start-ups.
- The Female Entrepreneurship Competitive Feasibility Fund of €500,000 will help 20 female entrepreneurs get started.
- A new Health innovation hub will drive collaboration between the health system and enterprise leading to the development and commercialisation of new healthcare technologies
- Research and Development Tax Credit:The first €100,000 of all qualifying R&D expenditure will benefit from the full 25% R&D tax credit from 2012.
- An ICT Skills Action Plan has been introduced to re-skill and up-skill people for job opportunities in the ICT sector
- Manufacturing Development Forum established to progress a transformation agenda for manufacturing enterprises