Key jobs potential in €18bn plan - FG


FINE GAEL has claimed its proposed €18 billion investment plan for energy, water and broadband sectors has potential to create over 100,000 new jobs within four years.

Party leader Enda Kenny yesterday launched the New Era document, which the party says will result in radical changes in the way public utility companies and the semi-State sector works.

The key components include a plan to retro-fit the entire housing stock of 1.2 million homes; a commitment to 50 per cent of energy coming from renewable sources by 2020; to have the fastest broadband in Europe, and proposals that would result in 50 per cent of cars being electricity-run by 2025.

The plan proposes the setting up of five new commercial semi-State companies with responsibility for the energy grid, gas supply, water services, broadband, and combined forestry and bio-energy services. The party will also launch a new State holding company, called New Era Ltd, which will manage the other companies.

According to the policy paper, it will be a commercially driven company with a staff of 100 professionals, with a mandate to reorganise the semi-State sector into “more focused” companies.

Mr Kenny said the plan would radically restructure how business is done here. “This is the way we join the dots; how we can transfer that into jobs and growth.”

The party’s energy and communications spokesman Simon Coveney claimed the new policy concentrated on the three areas where Ireland’s economy was most broken. He said it would result in 105,000 jobs.

The plan suggests some major changes including taking water services under one company, Irish Water, rather than having 34 local authorities in control.