Fine Gael TD for Laois/Offaly, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, has said that Budget 2014 has been crafted in as fair a manner as possible, which will allow for the progress being made in getting people back to work to continue.
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy went on to say that by exceeding the budget deficit target of 5.1%, as set down by the Troika, we will ensure Ireland’s successful exit of the bailout later this year.
“Ireland has been through one of the most challenging periods in our history over the last number of years, following on from the catastrophic mismanagement of our economy by Fianna Fáil. No-one is more aware of this than the people of Laois/Offaly.
“Since coming to Office, this Government has been focusing on our biggest challenge which is getting our people off the Live Register and back into the workforce. Those efforts are starting to bear fruit with the unemployment rate falling for the past 15 consecutive months and 3,000 additional jobs now being created every month. But there is still much work to be done,” commented Deputy Corocoran Kennedy.
She claimed that by introducing 25 separate measures that support job creation as part of a €500 million pro-jobs package, and ensuring that it pays to work, the government can build on the progress made in encouraging investment in Ireland so that young people can build a future here at home.
She commented, “exiting the bailout is also key to sending a signal to the world that Ireland is an attractive location for business. The budget adjustment of €2.5 billion will ensure that Ireland exceeds our deficit target of 5.1%, as set down by the Troika, and delivers a deficit of 4.8%, while providing for a primary surplus. This makes reaching the end goal of a budget deficit target of 3% by 2015 even more realistic as the bulk of the heavy lifting has been done.
“We need to maintain the momentum and progress we have achieved so far so that people have renewed economic confidence which will allow them to spend in the domestic economy. This will encourage indigenous businesses to take on extra workers which will provide our people with further job opportunities.
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy also pointed to the positive impact of the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector which is being maintained.
“Budget 2014 also sees the VAT rate of 9% being retained for the hospitality sector. The lower VAT rate has boosted Ireland’s reputation as a high quality, yet affordable destination for visitors from across the globe. The Government’s approach has yet again been vindicated by the latest figures from the CSO, which show that trips to Ireland increased by 4.2% in the second quarter, compared with the same period the previous year. Tourism and travel earnings from overseas visitors are up 5.2%.”