Employer lobby Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), said the plan featured a range of practical measures that would help businesses to create jobs.
But IBEC director general Danny McCoy also warned that the primary cause of unemployment was the lack of consumer confidence and domestic demand in the economy and that the initiative did little to address those problems. “New thinking and greater ambition from both the government and troika will be required in the coming months and years,” he added.
Opposition political party Fianna Fail said the plan displayed a “significant lack of imagination” on the government’s part and was more focused on organizational changes than stimulus measures.
Sinn Fein said the government proposals were mostly a rehash of initiatives already unveiled, and the plan was to implement them within existing, significantly reduced, budgets.
Party spokesperson Peadar Toibin said, “In the build-up to the announcement we were promised much; however on publication we find no new money and no meaningful targets. Job creation and growth is the most important issue facing this state. In almost 12 months since this government took office, nearly half a million people remain unemployed.”